Life offers many transitions. People, plants, and animals all grow, shift and change to varying degrees. The process of change can be a dreaded or a welcome one. Some people dread the waning light of the Northeast in fall and winter. Others find this whole time very cozy and welcoming. Seasons are a particular time of transition. Spring is one that has been associated with extra energy. “Spring Cleaning” is an aspect that represents that surge people feel to spruce up and embody their own brand of burgeoning newness. While this makes sense, I have always felt more of this energy during the fall.
There is something about the fall or autumn that makes me want to clean out my closets, donate what I am not using, wash the windows, walls, and floors, and lighten my load before winter. This makes sense from a spiritual standpoint. In the same way a person might fast to ready their body for a productive vision or meditation, so too I am readying my whole environment to hunker down for the winter. I can enter this season of respite and reflection in a lighter, cleaner, clearer space.
I’m also in the mood to make soups and bake. I love the flavors I associate with fall: apple pie, pumpkin muffins, hot and cold apple cider, root veggie or mushroom stew, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and, of course, hot cocoa – a fave! The weather might be growing colder, but fall brings in the warmth of all of these foods and calls to me to prepare them.
And of course the light. Fall has its own glowing light that is sublime. I was sharing my wonder and appreciation of this with a friend who agreed, saying she was actually pulled back into a room of her house, thinking she left a light on, but it was the light from the trees outside her window. As the leaves turn, their colors combine to emit a golden luminescence, cascading out and around them. The sun enhances this light, but it can still be seen on an overcast and even on a rainy day. The light itself is indefinable, and mysterious. It’s not as strong as sunshine, softer than a bulb, and more expansive than a candle or firelight. It’s fall light or maybe autumn glow. It matters not how you describe it, just as long as you can experience it.
Human nature tends to resist change. At least that was true in the past and has been true for me. Yet, I don’t resist fall. Even as I grow ever more weary of the cold weather that is part of my geographical winter, I still love fall. It energizes me in a way the other seasons do not. There is something uniquely special and magical that happens to my very cells when I spend time in summer’s fade-out to the rich autumn welcome that nature freely gives. I am grateful.
– Wendy Casey, October 2022