Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall: The Time of Revealing

Our instinct for taking cues from the flow of the seasons is deep and primal. Is it not both symbolically appropriate that we acknowledge our losses at the very season when the trees are stripped bare? How we see the bones of the trees and shrubs at the same time that we hold ceremonies for those whose bodies are being returned to the elements?

Ancient people used this time of year to prepare for the winter. They said farewell to the dead, they stocked up on firewood, food and other necessary items in preparation for the cold, dark time to come. They culled the herds, hunted and hung up meat to dry, smoked it or salted it.

They also looked at their situations with clear eyes, knowing that some of the people they knew and loved might not be in strong enough health to live through another winter. They prepared what healing herbs and potions they knew and had a store of that as well.

This is also the season of soul searching as people consider possible changes in career paths, students consider changing majors in school, seekers of spiritual or metaphysical matters often begin new courses of study.

Even entertainment reflects these choices. Traditionally, the movie industry releases their more serious Oscar contending works during these next few months. It is the time of year when symphonies, opera, ballet and theatres begin their seasons anew. Publishing companies traditionally release what they would consider significant titles during this season.

This is the time of revealing. We take a look at what is important to us. What we need to see is revealed. Just as the wind strips the leaves in waves as the trees and shrubs let go and what is not needed is returned to the earth for recycling, and what will go on is left standing, it is the fallen leaves that give nourishment to the roots so that the energy will build up and burst forth again in the spring.

But for now, what we have is the essence. What we have is the panoramic view, seeing through the trees which limited our view when they were in full leaf.

Inhaling the cooler night air flavored with the smoke of the fires that light the hearths, our spirits rise to the occasion and gift us with clear thoughts, powerful motivations, and a sense of our own mortality, which is our truest compass.

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