Reflections on Fall

Autumn is a magical time of preparation, transition, and integration. As the days become shorter, I notice that my skin is calling for more hydration, I’m craving more sleep than I do in the summer, and I’m catching myself contemplating the mysterious cycle of life as I see each burnt-colored leaf hesitatingly twirl towards the deep lull of Winter. Because the Fall can be very busy for most people, it is essential to listen to our bodies, and to honor what it is calling for. In essence, it is guiding us to begin preparing for winter, from both the inside and the outside. Looking around at the flora and fauna amongst us, we can witness Nature’s work in this regard as well. Thus begins the cozy time of year, where we don scarves and sweaters, we begin making big pots of nutritious lentil soup and oven-roasted acorn squash as well as enjoying delicious cups of hot autumnal tea like Bancha Hojicha.

As the days grow dimmer, it is important for us to remind ourselves of the Light we all carry within. This was a theme of which I was reminded during my most recent trip to India earlier this month. While at the ashram I visited, I took time to delve deep within, spending time in quiet meditation as well as in meaningful contemplation with others from around the world. In such a setting, the Oneness we all share is so clearly evident. One teaching that was given to us depicted the irony of how the strongest hardwood trees in Nature can easily snap and break in a great storm, while a field of simple grass will merely bend and give way to the fierceness of the winds without being affected. This truth reminds me of the need to be flexible in all circumstances, and that in yielding or giving way, we actually maintain our strength and fortitude. Fighting often comes from the ego, ultimately separating us from the greater Whole. Similarly, another teaching spoke of how most of the sweet fruit-bearing trees in India have soft and supple, yet fragile wood that is submissive and easily bends while nurturing and sustaining life amidst the weight of its hanging fruit, while those trees that are hardest and stiffest may look regal and tough, but are mostly barren from giving fruit. We can take this as a lesson in humility, with the faith that any heavy circumstance has the potential to provide us with a sweet outcome, if we allow ourselves to be flexible and bear the task at hand with a spiritual connectedness and remembrance. Through patience, faith, and adaptability, we can allow the sweet richness of our lives to ripen and be cultivated…Let us be in remembrance of our own power and connection to Nature as we harvest what is available from within and without this Fall season.