“Autumn is the season to find contentment at home by paying attention to what we already have.” – unknown
Even though here in western Canada, we are having some nice weather for one last weekend, there is no denying that fall is on its way. I used to have a rocky relationship with autumn. The days are getting shorter. I know winter is coming which means I will be inside more. The cold is also in the near future. I always felt an impending doom about the coming of fall. In my previous life as a teacher, it also meant the relaxing, unstructured time of summer was ending. Although I loved my job, I also enjoyed time to myself in the summer months. This has changed in the last few years for a number of reasons. Eight years ago, I consciously planned my wedding. It now gives me something to look forward to in the fall. I also started hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our entire family. Also gives me something to anticipate. Sometimes it just takes some restructuring of your time to shift your perspective.
Aesthetically, fall has always been the prettiest season to me. How gracefully the trees shed their leaves. We do not fear that the leaves will not come back in the spring. I never doubt the wisdom of my flowers to bloom again in the summer. If I don’t have any question about the capabilities and wisdom of nature, why did I doubt my own? Fall now signifies a time rebooting. A time to mellow out and slow down. Just like the trees and flowers, I believe we need to have a time of dormancy to refresh ourselves and our batteries. The longer nights allow me to sleep longer and not feel like I have to get up and rush into my day like I do in spring and summer when I want to soak up every ounce of light. There is a peace for me in harvesting what I have worked hard to grow in my vegetable garden at this time of year. It feels like I am being rewarded for all of my hard work during the summer. It is a time to be grateful for all that we have worked to achieve and not have such a sense of striving, but rather a time of contentment.
I decided the other day to restructure my house going into the colder months in a similar fashion. I spend most of my time outside or in my sunroom during the summer months. The fall and winter are different. I started to contemplate what I spend most of my time doing during the next half of my year. I spend it sitting by the fireplace and painting. I then started to think about which spaces in my home I love the most. My “happy” rooms are my sewing room and my dining room. They are not a place of peace because of the furniture that is in them. They just make me feel calm. So I decided a plan to spend more time in them. I am moving my sewing room into a different room, as I have not been spending as much time sewing lately. I also want to flip my dining room, which has the fireplace in it, and the living room, which I always find cold in the winter due to the big windows. It will be so nice to just flick on the fireplace at night when my husband and I are watching a movie or listening to music. It will also be nice to have a bigger room for my art space with a door that I can close if I don’t want to clean something up.
I believe the most important thing for humans to become comfortable with is change. Change is unavoidable. Our needs change as we age. Our interests change as we grow. The seasons change. If we don’t change to accept that, we will be stuck in a life and space that don’t allow for that evolution. There is no better season to teach us to come to terms with change than fall. I have been trying to be mindful about some of the things I am grateful for autumn for. I went to yoga yesterday night. I remember how last fall, I felt it was such a magical class to go to because by the time class ended, the dark had peacefully enveloped the world. It was so nice to go home after the class and just ease into rest for the evening. Last night I noted that this is starting to happen. I also am thinking about making soups which I always enjoy and don’t ever do in the warmer months.
Notice the small changes in your world this coming season. Some are tricky. Slippery surfaces and wearing tons of layers, but some are glorious. Embrace the fall and the rest period the universe is telling you that you have earned. Make some soup and put on your favorite sweater.