Fall is the season of letting go. The trees know that they must release what is dried up and lifeless, no matter how colourful. When the cool weather comes, the trees don’t cling to what was, even though their branches are made vulnerable and bare by the letting go. What is dried up and lifeless in your life this fall that you need to release? In the words of Queen Elsa and five year olds everywhere, “let it go!”.
Squirrels and hipsters alike know that fall is the time to gather and preserve what is life giving, be it nuts or artisanal pickles. As you reflect on what it is you need to let go of this fall, take note of what it is you want to hold onto. What is there about your life right now, today, in this moment, that is good and healthy? What might you need to do if you want to carry that forward into the next season of your life?
Speaking of this moment, it is already passing. Fall is the season of transience. Winter may seem to drag on forever and the full bloom of summer seems to go on and on, but fall is different. The leaves are at their peak for just a little while. A warm day is quickly followed by a frigid one. Is there beauty in your life that you are taking for granted? The fall teaches us to embrace what is beautiful now and not assume it will be the same tomorrow.
In summer I live outside as much as possible. My home becomes just a place to sleep, a place to store my belongings as I dash about. When the coolness of fall arrives, I am drawn inside more often. And as I am physically spending more time inside, I find I am more drawn to spend time in my inner self as well. Fall is the season of reflection. As the early frantic days of new fall routines settle into a comfortable pattern, take time to remember that you have an inner self. Go inside.
Finally, fall reminds us that rest is a part of the natural cycle. We may not be preparing to hibernate for the next six months (though some of us might like to), but as the days get shorter I try to remember to slow down my pace. This fall, my prayer is that you find a moment to pull up a chair and rest in God’s embrace.