I walk to the train and notice leaves on the ground, not many, but the trees are beginning to shed their leaves as fall creeps into our life. The nights are getting cooler and it is with excitement that I sleep with open windows as the breeze invites me to slumber.
What is the connection between autumn and what we humans need to do to get ready for the winter? What does nature model for us at this time of year?
In October 2011, a nor’easter passed through our area dumping inches of unexpected snow. The snow damaged many trees. Old trees that had survived many winters lost their branches. They snapped like twigs under the weight of the snow that clung to each leaf that remained on the tree. That is when it dawned on me that the trees casting off their leaves in the autumn breeze is self preservation. It is because of this that they are able to preserve themselves through he harsh winter, and blossom and grow again in the spring.
There is a newness in the northern hemisphere as summer gets stored away and the new school year begins. Kids sharpen their pencils, buy new notebooks and wait with anticipation the beginning of a new school year.
I have noticed that within a few days, the older kids feel exhausted and even overwhelmed as they take one class after another. But that first day, as they pack up their bags, there is a flurry of excitement, of newness, of possibility. How can we hold onto that feeling of possibility and not get overwhelmed by the day to day?
What do we need to let go of in order to preserve our enthusiasm?
What expectations are we ready to discard so that we can sustain hope?
What beliefs need to be shed to make room for our core to grow and blossom?
What are we ready to cast away?
As we enter autumn this year, I invite us all to take a moment, join us as we allow ourselves to be students of nature. To notice the leaves changing colors, to take in the sight of the trees shedding what they no longer need, and to follow their example allowing ourselves the gift of room to grow.
Chani Getter is an ordained One Spirit Interfaith Minister. She is a spiritual counselor and coach and officiates at weddings, funerals and other sacred rituals. She brings a loving, non-judgmental approach providing safe space for all to connect with their authentic selves and deepest yearnings.
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