Anyone else feel that bite in the air? The faint smell of apples hangs in the air, and the leaves begin to glow with reds and oranges and yellows. The quality of the sunlight moves from the harshness of bright summer into mellow golden shades. Rainstorms let cold rain fall instead of the warm rain of summer. Autumn is here.
Fall is the time of the harvest. Well, duh, I don’t really need to point that out (at least, I hope I wouldn’t have to…). The last two harvests come in the fall, Mabon in September and Samhain in late October/early November. This time of year is the time when people begin to take stock of what they have in preparation for the coming winter. It’s also the time of year for giving thanks for the bounty and the harvest that will keep us alive in the cold months. You can also take this time to reflect on what you have harvested over the spring and summer, what fruits of your labor you have gathered and what still needs work, and reflect on what you have in your life and give thanks for those things, which means not only the material but the emotional and spiritual things as well. For example, I would be reflecting at this time of year how glad I am that I have a roof over my head, enough money to pay my bills, and a working vehicle to get me where I need to go. But I will also be celebrating the friendships in my life, and reflecting on the friendships that have ended and why, and also to take stock of how I have grown spiritual.
Autumn is a good time for all of those things. It is symbolic of the time in a human life right before old age creeps up and settles into the body, the time before hibernation and the rest and [symbolic] death in winter. It’s the time to reflect on life, appreciate what you have, recognize what areas still need work, and reserve those areas for when the spring comes around again and new growth can begin.
It is also the time to prepare for the winter. Before modern housing and preservable food, people would have stocked up on food for the cold months. This is still not a bad idea. Stock up on non-perishable items in case of an emergency in which you can’t get out to the store. Make sure your house and vehicle are prepared for winter, which means checking insulation, pipes, roofs, tires, oil and engine, etc. It’s best to do this now while the weather is not harsh than to wait until you have two feet of snow outside and a hole in your roof from snow weight.
Autumn is the time when things slow down, but not so much that you can’t still act and prepare yourself for the winter.