The light is changing and dark is coming faster in the eve and staying longer in the morn.
Once again, the trees are dropping their leaves, returning them to the ground.
Plants are flowering and fruiting, putting the last of their energy into ripening and celebrating, giving their all.
Autumn Equinox is Friday, September 22nd
at 3:02 pm CT,
marking this next pass through the seasonal rhythm that holds our lives.
I am experiencing sadness that summer and all its bounty is waning and gratefulness for the bright, crisp Fall days, colorful leaves, and invitation to turn inward. All accompanied by a sense that life is moving by so quickly!
The Jewish tradition has this Fall theme built into its yearly cycle.
September 21st marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year with Rosh Hashanah, the Days of Awe, and then Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on September 30th.
There is joy for the opportunity to begin a new year combined with an inner examination of the past year and atonement for regrets in order to start the new year freshly, cleanly, returned home to God.
This is truly the season of Both/And,
of acknowledging all we have to celebrate
and all we have to regret.
Autumn invites us to use this changing of the seasons as a time to pause and assess our harvest.
What are you celebrating from the bounty of summertime?
What will you pick and savor and what will you let fall like leaves to the ground?
What needs to be cut back or released so that you can live your life
with more presence?
What did not turn out as you had hoped?
Do you need to repair any relationships—with yourself, others, or the Divine—
in order to return home?
For my part, when I look back, I see I have fallen again into piling my plate too full, and I regret that I didn’t make more time for what I call “right living,” living the daily rhythms of my life with less rushing and more connection.
I am letting go of a lot of things this the Fall to make space for slowing down to a rhythm that is more sustainable for living my life—workshops and events I wanted to attend, the poetry list I was sending out, preaching, music gigs, tea events I host, travel, even some teaching. I feel sad to not do these things that I love, and I so much look forward to the space I am opening up for more presence-full living.
There is always so much to hold in our lives—to celebrate and to regret.
Especially when we widen our gaze to include not only our individual lives, but the life of the earth, the life of our political environment, the lives of many who are suffering and many who do so much goodness in the world.
Sometimes finding our way to the goodness, the beauty, the wholeness, and the celebration is hampered by our inability to take a deep accounting of our actual lives. Aligning with this seasonal orientation, we need to acknowledge and work with the ways we are holding ourselves and others with unkindness so that we can recalibrate our lives and start fresh and clean again.
This usually invokes not only celebration but also a need for repair. Just as our Jewish friends are practicing atonement,
so our souls yearn for forgiveness,
of ourselves and of others—for harm we have done and harm we have suffered.
How about you? What regrets do you have that could be
eased by the soothing balm of forgiveness?
I’d love to support you this Autumn in recalibrating, repairing, and returning home to yourself with my new, 4-part series: