Fall has finally arrived in the Northwest. The trees are shedding their leaves, my garden is clean all ready for winter, and the air has turned cold. The land is preparing to sleep until the earth shifts again and the warm sun returns. I took a walk through Yost Park with the dogs the other day and the air was rich with the scent of wet and rotting leaves. This is a time for animals to prepare for the coming winter when food is scarce and the land is cold and wet.
Fall is also a time for us to slow down, to sit with a cup of warm tea, coffee, or coco and let the seasons turn. A time to pull out the afghans and a good book. It is also a time of reflection. It is a time to remember the joys of spring and summer and the many joyful moments. A time to ask ourselves questions: what have I done this year that will leave it a better place? Have I spent time caring for others, standing up when injustice rears its ugly head? Have I taken care of my own spiritual needs? Have I remembered to stop, recharge and renew myself so that I will have the energy to be present to those in need? This is the time to look back at what I could have done better, and to look forward to how I will improve. It is also a time to reflect on how I have done my best with all I have even if I didn’t achieve all I wanted to; remembering that doing my best was enough.
This week I challenge you to sit down with a warm cup of something, or maybe a glass of wine, and spend some time on your past year. Let the joys and celebrations provide the energy to improve what didn’t go so well. Laugh, cry, and dance your memories of spring and summer. Remember the sun and wind on your face. Look back at your achievements and at what didn’t get done. It is a time to forgive yourself and others. Were you the best you could be? As the summer ended did you leave the earth a better place, did you care for the disadvantage, or do something to respond to the many, way too many, disasters of the last year? Look toward the coming year and ask yourself how can I be someone who cares about mercy, justice, and peace? How can I care for my own spiritual well being? These aren’t easy questions, and they may take many days to reflect on. But it is dark early now, and it’s cold outside so curl up in your lap robe and reflect on who you are.
May the coming days of fall and winter be a time of rest for your spirit and a time to prepare for the next spring and summer.
Ruth Jewell, ©November 3, 2015