Marble mountains of morning mist rising like phantoms from the warm river water blue grey mirrors of the colorful hillsides behind hanging motionless in the much cooler air Another period of miraculous transition lingering warmth of summer days meeting the icy nights of autumn manifesting monuments of change Gentle nudges from mother nature reminders that letting go is something beautiful reassurance that life's long winters are making new space for another spring Each dark night of the soul threatens that the sun will never rise again but new happiness will find you as surely as the earth will keep spinning Fall is a yearly ritual in finding faith bravely embracing a season of snow instilling a confidence that striding through darkness will always lead you back into the light
The tide rises with the descending sun and as the leaves form a crunchy crust over the earth that grows thicker with each passing day I watch the waters creep closer pawing at the shoreline of my soul No breakers can withstand the slow advance of the seasons time ensures the slow submersion into the living death of ice and snow I brace myself for another long sleep Water-logged months of darkness slow, undulating rhythm below the waves of winter are hard, helpful reminders of interconnection insolation and artificial lighting cannot replace the outstretched arms of sensual sunshine The earth turns inwards and withdraws a well deserved rest from being taken for granted nursing her wounds beneath the cold surface resting and recharging to return again the faithful promise that keeps me going
My inner child has been lighting up at the prospect of all the fun fall possibilities this year. I can’t remember a time when I felt this delighted by this season. Maybe it’s just something about being in your late 20s that makes you a sucker for pumpkin spice lattes, scarves, and watching the leaves change. My tendency is usually to dissect and scrutinize such an uncharacteristic feeling. It is quite unlike me to feel like celebrating rather than mourning the end of summer after all. However, this time I’m not going to let myself spoil my own fun by overanalyzing. I just want to be kind and allow myself to fully embrace and enjoy this strange experience. So here are a few of the ideas I’ve come up with about how to do that.
1. Try a Homemade Seasonal Drink
While I do already have my pumpkin spice oat milk creamer in the fridge, I was craving something even more autumn inspired. Even though I’ve only ever had hot apple cider like once in my life, I really loved it. I didn’t really want to buy a whole jug of apple cider for just me though, so I looked online to see if there was some kind of alternative I could try. I stumbled upon this recipe for an apple cider vinegar drink instead. It’s very simple. I already had all the ingredients on hand. And it is quite yummy and hit that hot apple cider spot quite nicely.
2. Movie Night
Even if you live alone like me, there is nothing like snuggling up on the couch to watch a spooky, fall themed movie. Yesterday for the first time in years, I allowed myself to just lie in bed all afternoon and enjoy my day off. It was truly delightful. If you’re looking to get into the fall spirit, I’d definitely recommend making some popcorn (or maybe even roasted pumpkin seeds), grabbing your favorite, most comfortable blanket, perhaps enlisting the company of a furbaby or two, and settling in for a private little movie marathon, the cheesier the better.
3. Take a Walk
Autumn is the ideal season for long, introspective strolls. There is something so indescribably satisfying about hearing the crunchy sound of leaves beneath your feet. While I love the summer heat for walking my dog just as much, it’s even better when there is a crisp wind giving me a reason to quicken my step. Rather than sweating bullets, the soft sun peaking through the trees makes everything glow and gently warms me as I walk. Not to mention there is that perfect cozy feeling when you make it back inside.
I’ve never been big about seasonal decorations. I’ll put up a tree and a few other things for Christmas, but that’s usually it. However, I’ve had the urge to purchase all those cute little fall decorations this year. I’ve even saved a couple of the pattypan squashes I’ve grown that look particularly like mini pumpkins. I can’t help but smile when I see their plump little presence on my kitchen table. Instead of asking myself, “What’s the point?” as I usually do, I’m not going to question my strange desire to spruce up my home with corny little doodads.
As I’ve already mentioned, there is a certain special quality about the fall and winter months that are perfect for solitude and introspection. It even seems like introverts tend to like these colder seasons more for this very reason. Light a candle, make yourself a warm cup of tea, coffee, cider or whatever suits your fancy, and write a few pages in your favorite notebook. Stream of consciousness will work just fine, but you can also look up some fall themed journaling prompts if you want to get extra festive.
I hope you’re all having as scrumptious of a fall infatuation as me this year. Let me know what your favorite ways to enjoy this season are. I’d love to get some new ideas since this is the first year I’ve really felt in the mood to celebrate and go all out.
Easy breathing, autumn air early mornings turned satisfyingly crisp the sun has softened like sleepy eyelids drooping gently in the pastel sky Time to get cozy and start lighting candles celebrating sumptuous spices and savory foods using up the squashes left over from one last harvest patient preparation of nests for the cold months ahead Another successful cycle completed observing the graceful pirouette of mother earth showering colorful leaves from her folded skirt as she spins new life into old, familiar stories Sit with me awhile and listen to the cicada chorus begin its evening song to signal the bittersweet surrender from summer a goodbye serenade to constant sunshine Learning to enjoy the subtle sadness of certain endings seeing myself in the auburn fade of fallen leaves allowing my own colors to seep out slowly to nourish the dark soil with all that I once was
Summer stirs something deep inside a soul shaken awake by sunshine renewed and ready to add its song to the symphony of early morning Slipping unharmed from the jaws of winter wondering at this cycle of renewal once again where did I go while the world was dark resurrected by blue skies as a brand new being The shadow of death has fled from my heart crept into the creases to await autumn ready to beguile me with cottage core cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice Every season seems splendid and romantic in the intoxicating summer air full of flowers all of life seems brighter, softer, less scary than before safety found in long, winding, aimless days Warm skin soaked in bright light greedily drinking the sun's special elixir this soul of mine is solar powered one juicy charge lasts until January Every season is all or nothing in the summer I know I'll live forever in the winter I know I've already died celebrating my 28th year of reincarnation
Summer settles in around the eaves of the houses a heavy heat that grows and expands Lush gardens swell creating a hopeful sea of green rough leaves reaching upward toward the sun The atmosphere buzzes the electric hum of birds and bugs the gentle breeze rustling through the leaves The cycle of the seasons reflected and repeated in each creature the metronome of moments that connect us all The misfortune of our clever distractions that separate us summer slips by unnoticed beneath the blue sky
Surrender to the seasons of your life learn to sit with whatever you find within what resides inside your childish heart let it resonate and ring through your ribcage The feeling of fully embodying each moment navigating the quicksand of resistance that binds us to what we fear most cultivating that counterintuitive current Can you learn to honor uncertainty and discomfort to keep your heart open through every storm allowing the thick, stagnant energy of ingratitude to flow through you and be released This life is about collecting lessons soul of soft clay, continuous transformation trying to capture and confine good feelings so clever in our self-inflicted suffering Forgetting that each moment adds up to make a life far from what we had intended justifying, defending, and doubling down on the things that destroy your peace Etch your true intentions on your heart trace the tender grooves daily whisper them into the air, a gentle prayer have faith that you will find your way
My sorrow comes in cycles waxing and waning with the moon regular intervals of lapping tides frigid dark waters against a jagged shore long desolate seasons of solitude convince me that joy was never mine the cosmos close in around me a heavy weight upon my sunken chest when the sun finally emerges on the other side of that cruel and endless winter wasteland happiness breaks over my heart like a revelation my sleeping soul cracks open shivering with delight in the warm heavy air finally freed from its cramped cocoon to absorb the majesty of the world reborn open and unafraid, buoyantly held above the stark reality of the season past the second side of my dual nature shaking off the bizarre burden I've been carrying why was I so sad before? what was it that I'd been pained by? now suffering seems so far away was it ever here at all? I don't recognize myself as I look back through the snow and the aching, bony trees caught in the swift, sharp wind the summer beckons me forward into a bright mirage of green where nothing can cause me harm where this time the cycle has surely stopped each moment maintains its own eternity forever paralyzed in each part of the pattern immovable sadness giving way to boundless joy always and again
Everything’s a cycle. You’ve gotta let it come to you. And when it does, you will know what to do.– Bright Eyes
Happy spring, everyone! I am so pleased to welcome this most lovely of seasons back again. While I adore the summer months, spring is probably my true favorite. There is nothing quite like the fresh, bright, vibrant energy of this time of year. There is so much beauty in contrast. I’ve always found it funny the way 55-60 degree weather in the fall seems dreadfully cold to me, yet the very same temperature is a godsend in the spring. At the end of the year I’d consider this weather too chilly for a walk, but now I am itching to be outdoors in the sunshine again. I used to dream about moving somewhere south so that I wouldn’t have to experience the snow and bitter cold of winter every year, but as I’ve grown older I’ve developed an attachment to this area of the country. Sometimes we need to face discomfort or adversity in order to fully appreciate and savor the rest of life. There is a lot that the cycling of seasons has to teach us if we are willing to witness their endless unfolding.
There is a strange comfort that repetition brings us. This constant ebb and flow that exists everywhere in this life is truly something beautiful to behold. This constant churning keeps life from becoming stagnant. It really is true that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Without the colorless cold, the bitter wind, the once lush trees reduced to creaking black skeletons, we would not be able to fully appreciate watching the landscape come alive again. We wouldn’t be able to experience this bustling, rustling, vibrating energy as the earth comes alive once more. The sensation of new life, of awakening, of hope that spring stirs within us is unparalleled. It never gets old no matter how many years we have had here.
Spring reminds us that we need not fear the winter. It also insinuates that we need not fear even death. Imagine how frightened the first conscious creatures were that lived through winter. Surely with no guarantee, I would have assumed all was ending forever. Just as many of us feel facing death without faith in a god or an afterlife. There are no guarantees. No scientific evidence that we can analyze to suggest that anything exists beyond our final breaths. Still I find my own kind of faith in all of the cycles I see around me every day. Some cycles are as short as the ever-present rhythm of the breath, some are too long for us to comprehend or observe in a single lifetime. But I trust in the cyclical systems that surround us, that are within us, that we are inextricably involved in. While I may not be able to say what the cycle of life and death fully looks like, or even what it means for me, I am confident it is still a cycle all the same. I may not be there to witness the spring that blooms on the other side of my existence on this earth, in this body, in this mind, but I am confident that that spring exists. But for now, while I am still here, I am going to keep trying to learn from these cycles, to be mindful of them, to be grateful for them, to be patient with them, and to honor and accept where I am within them.
I am someone who dearly loves the summertime. I often start to feel the effects of seasonal effective disorder as the days grow shorter and colder. Already I sense the long dark winter looming on the horizon. I feel a desperation begin to settle over me as the green hues of hot summer days give way gracefully to the orange and red undertones of autumn.
This year has me especially worried since I haven’t been doing so well even during the summer months. That’s why I’d like to set some intentions to be gentle with myself as this year of inner and outer turmoil comes to a close. I am always so hard on myself. I never seem to give myself credit for all that I do. I am always focusing on the ways I’m falling short of my own expectations.
Before the lack of sunlight starts to sap all of my energy, fall does seem rather inviting and cozy to me. Cuddling up with my fur children with a cup of hot tea of chilly evenings, making hearty stews, enjoying the return of pumpkin spice everything. It all seems rather nostalgic and comforting. I want the changing of seasons this year to be just another chance for me to practice being grateful for what is in front of me rather than anxious about what I don’t have or have lost.
I have to keep reminding myself that I deserve to rest. I deserve to simply enjoy the stillness between each moment. To savor every sweet breath.