I have heard before that during the solstices’ & the equinoxes’ is when the universal energies are at their most extremes, and thus can be intense times for us humans. Though this may be true for many, tracking myself and my own rhythms, especially in these self-aware times of staying at home & mothering a baby, I have noticed that it is actually the in-between-times that seem to be the trickiest for me. Usually the transitions out of one season and into the next usually fall between the heighten times of Equinox and Solstice and it is these transitions that take me a while to adjust to, especially this one right here– Autumn to winter.
I have a hard time letting go of the garden, the long days of fresh air and sunshine, harvesting, weighing, and eating fresh picked produce and of course those delicious baby bare feet. Don’t get me wrong, I love our nights by the fire, cozy flannel sheets, sweaters and soups and slippers as much as the next girl, but something about the cold sneaking in and the harvest being down truly gets me down. All the ghouls and goblins come out, the veil between the living and the gone are thin…I don’t know I guess the darkness just makes me feel, well dark.
A dear friend reminded me this fall, ‘as the leaves fall they are just reminding us to let it all go’. Ah what a sigh of relief, but clearly that was hard for me to let go somehow this season. I thrive in summer, my garden being my time-keeper, my guide, my boss really. Staying at home this year was a wonderful thing for me and my little family, but I will be the first to admit, I was an intense transition from being a woman of the world, to a woman of the home. My life changed so much and there was a lot of internal rearranging that was in order, and frankly still is. I am learning to let the rhythms of nature guide me completely and let go of all the 9 to 5, which is truly a beautiful liberation, but an adjustment none the less. Some how though, in the summer things seemed to flow more naturally. I did not worry myself too much with who I was, I was too busy being who I am, a grower of life in all forms. Yes, I know, dormancy is a part of the life cycle, the wise old mother earth knows this well; in winter she rests, restores, renews….and this I will indeed, it is just settling into that without recoiling is my challenge.
My mother reminds me every year since I was a child, ‘you always get sick in the fall’, and yes mom, I do. She is right, though I may have not ever really noticed or wanted to admit it, I do get sick every year when the leaves all fall and chilly nights come in, I get ill of body & heart. When I can no longer play outside and must be indoors more than I would like, the sniffles find me and take me down, sometimes kicking, sometimes happy to be put to rest. Now that I have a family of my own, the same pattern continues, but now with the three of us sniffling it is no fun at all… but we are learning, taking turns in hot baths and making tea time a mandatory time of day.
Another transition that we are settling into is the baby to toddler transition; delighting in the walking, talking, laughing, playing, kissing hugging and feeling a little less enthused about the hitting, throwing, refusing and temper tantruming, yep all the glory of the 18 month mark.
I realize that all these shifts would of course contribute to a rough patch. I hope knowing this time of year transitions are hard for me (us) will help me receive them a bit more gracefully in the future. Maybe prepare better, boosting the immune systems and inner sunshine, or maybe just softening to it, allowing myself to be more graceful, receptive and forgiving of the inner darkness that takes it’s turn to shine. Either way, I can finally feel an acceptance, an internal surrender finally to the season of sleep, solitude, darkness, quiet, reflection, inward journeying as well as great creativity.
I see why we now sit at this time of year and align our darkness with our deepest gratitude, shedding light on what gives us life and joy helps us re-orient our habits and minds. It is now the season to praise the light in us as it slips from the sky. A time to remember, rekindle and recreate that sunshine that has blessed us so generously throughout the year and now shed it from the inside out. So this is just my way of saying hello winter, Hello darkness, hello shadows and sweaters and soup. Welcome, I accept your teachings, I am grateful and I will stop moping and step up and shine my inner light just for you.