Fall is a time of transition. The full bloom of summer ebbs. The earth almost seems to pull back into itself, conserving energy for the long winter ahead.
So too in our lives there is a time to pull back in. To conserve energy. We cannot always be in bloom.
For some resting in completion can be difficult. There is a push, a drive, to always achieve, always be moving on to the next thing. For others, it can be difficult to let go, wishing to dwell forever in the fullness of summer.
Practice taking rest. Practice letting go. Fall can be a time for reflection, for building up new resources. Transitions are not always easy. But like the changing of the seasons, in embracing them we may find beauty.
Tips for Fall
Prepare for SAD (seasonal affective disorder) if you are affected. Getting out in the early morning to take in more daylight, light therapy using artificial sun lamps and increased vitamin D intake are non-traditional interventions. But don’t forget the help of a good therapist and antidepressant medication if needed.
Use rituals to mark the change in season. Routine and ritual can help ease transition. One idea: journal on what you are letting go of and what you hope to work on, after rest, in the seasons to come. Collect leaves, one each, to symbolize what you plan to let go of. Let them go by floating them down a stream or letting them burn in a fire. Save seeds, one each, for what you plan to grow in the coming seasons. Store them in a decorative box or jar in a cherished place. Bring them out to plant in the next growing season.
Soak in all the comforts of Fall. Warm tea, cocoa, and spiced cider, fuzzy blankets, crisp sunny days, bonfires, harvest holidays, baked goods, warm hearty meals. Enjoy traditions, or make new ones! In my family, we have a Fall bonfire centered around remembering family members who have died. We originally called it “Dead Guy Roast” at a tribute to my late Uncle and his mischievous spirit, and now it has become a more general celebration and reason to get together. I know of others who look forward to Fall for the mushroom hunting opportunities in Western Oregon, or small gatherings with friends in front of the fireplace. Marking the seasons with these rituals and traditions can bring comfort and warmth to the season. (A special note for those who are part of the dominant culture: It’s common to be drawn to the cultural traditions and celebrations of others, however it is important to only participate in spaces where outsiders are welcome, act respectfully, and avoid appropriation. For detailed considerations when celebrating holidays that are not from your own heritage/tradition, read more: Celebrating Día de Muertos Without Appropriating, How to not be offensive this Día de los Muertos)
Fall beauty captured by @oregonpoppy [instagram]