And fall is happening! The berries fade out while the squashes and persimmons appear. Apples are falling from trees and our days get a little shorter as each one passes.
In Bronwyn's latest blog she writes, “Primary to a healthy path is living and acting in harmony with the seasons and cycles of nature. Autumn is about the out breath of our lives, a turning inward and a time for reflection that comes with slowing down….Autumn is the time to pull inward and gather our qi into ourselves on all levels. This may include saying no to over-committing your time and energy, taking a nap, avoiding final pushes, and generally slowing down our lives." I find that autumn also brings me into deeper relationship with themes of balance, reciprocity, gratitude, and respectful harvest.
Celebrating the turning seasons is a concrete way to bring us into relationship with the rhythms of nature, both outside of us and inside of us. Here are some fun ways to settle into autumn and celebrate the upcoming equinox with family and friends. Kids are always happy to have a chance to celebrate something! These activities would make for a sweet day or weekend.
- Build an Autumn altar together. You can go on a harvest walk and collect a few treasures. There are probably plenty of fallen leaves, acorns, and sticks around. Lay a piece of fabric down and arrange them in a beautiful way. You can also create art or find objects that connect you to the essence of autumn (rest, going inward, gratitude, reciprocity) to put on the altar.
- Make an equinox meal! Include your kids in conversations about what is in season and let them help you prepare an equinox celebration meal with local veggies.
- Make up, tell, and read stories about themes related to this season.
- As equinox is a time of balance, you can celebrate by taking care of the earth! Tending to the garden, doing a trash pick up at a beloved outdoor location, biking instead of driving, or going outside and offering a song to your favorite piece of land are all ways to practice living in reciprocity with the earth. Reflect on the ways you could develop more balance in your relationship with the earth.
- Starkhawk (in a book called Circle Round) talks about the equinox being a time to protect wildness. Kids can be invited to draw pictures of things they love in the wild and that they want to protect. The drawings can be added to the altar and they you can give them an opportunity to share about what they added.
- Create a predictable daily and weekly rhythm. Bronwyn writes “Autumn is a time to organize the more scattered and spontaneous patterns of the summer months.” Creating predictable morning, meal, and evening routines is a nourishing family practice. I’ve especially been enjoying the Walforf approach to creating weekly rhythms.
I hope your equinox is full of sweetness, coziness, and family! Wishing you a gentle turning in as our days become shorter and our nights longer!