Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Autumn Lessons in the Leaves

It's been a while since I last posted. It's not for lack of encounters with the Goddess. She's always present, making Herself known in both small and not so small ways. I have simply neglected writing about my encounters with Her over the past year. But there's just something about the season of autumn. I think it's quickly becoming my favorite season. It is almost like my internal new year. I seem to recharge with the swirling leaves. Having an affinity for the earth, spring and fall are definitely my favorite seasons. In the spring we dig into the earth to plant. Sometimes in autumn we even dig into the earth to plant bulbs which will emerge, bursting with life through the earth in the spring, but I think what I like most about autumn is that the earth literally changes before our very eyes, blazing with colors and dancing in the wind, almost as if she is daring us not to notice.

This year I began running, and I have found that I truly prefer to run among natural surroundings rather than on a treadmill. Running during this golden season of change has proved to be my favorite so far. On a recent run at a park as I was running around a pond I noticed the wind swirling, blowing the leaves in spiral circles, sometimes around me or in front of me and other times just barely missing my face. It was almost as though my run was part of a spiral dance among the golden leaves upon which I tread. (It reminded me of lyrics from the song "Lady Moon" by Kellianna: "Strange winds blew, leaves floating around me. Change winds blew. It changed me that night. Something so deep, so deep down inside me. My life for you, your daughter am I.") The air and earth elements danced around me and through me, begging me to join in their dance, and encouraging me on in my run with their playfulness. There were times on my run when I would get tired, and a gust of wind would blow in my face like a splash of cold water. Other times, the wind blew at my back, pushing me onward, or it blew against me challenging me to run harder to push through it's strength in order to make me stronger. Observing these wonders of nature, I smiled at my Mother's sense of humor and at the beauty that She has created, and I also paused to think of the lesson of impermanence that She teaches through the seasons. ("Spirit speaks in rustling leaves." --Kellianna, "Serpent Mound")

It's rather appropriate that All Hallows Eve (Samhain) and All Saints Day are celebrated in the season of autumn, because it is perhaps in the season of autumn that we are most reminded of the lesson of impermanence. All things (and people) pass. As the leaves change into vibrant colors in the fall, we know that they will soon fall from the trees, and that before long the trees will be bare for what usually seems like a never ending winter, as we wait for that first bud of spring. So it is with all things. Autumn is the advent of winter. It is a beautiful reminder that all things fade. Birth, life, death. The cycle of life. The cycle of the seasons. The cycle of the moon....

Some believe that life continues even after death, whether in another world or in another life. Perhaps that is a sense of hope in the midst of impermanence. We know that eventually life will bloom again. We will see that first green blade of grass or daffodil coming up through the grey winter earth. Babies are born, continuing the cycle of life. The moon emerges one sliver at a time until she shines full and bright again. The cycle continues. And through it all, there is yet another certain hope...our Mother, our Divine Creator, is present through the playfulness, through the challenges, the doubts and uncertainties, and through the hope. She walks with us through every season and surrounds us with her presence every step of the way.