BY HILLARY RAIN
Today is the Autumn Equinox in the north.
This season is like the sunset of the year, a final rush of energy and color as the sun slides towards the dark horizon of winter’s night.
Right now my porch is littered with these beautiful, bursting pods as the burnished trees outside my door leave their harvest with me, as if hoping I'll notice them, scoop them up and proclaim them art. (I did.)
Tucked inside their fragile cages, these rattling skeletons bear tiny round nuggets of hope—life that emerges only during seasons of sacrifice, of baring down, stripping away, opening, revealing, harvesting, and dying. It is a paradox given to us by nature itself—that only when the wet, the green, and the growth that would keep their seams tightly closed, holding on for dear life, surrenders to the falling away, that life can flow on.
It's hard to let go. I know, dear love. I know.
I like to commemorate this time of year by turning to a favorite, familiar passage.
In her classic book Women Who Run With the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes—
I like to say that Autumn is my very own New Year. A new beginning comes through letting go of all that does not serve and whatever holds me back from freely living as I am called. It is a time to be ravaged by the wilds and ripped apart by them; to be flayed open—and all the excess that obscures true hunger cut away.
Yet with the pain of it comes a shyly-revealed secret of rebirth ... a humble, life-bearing seed tucked deep within which is revealed only upon surrender and spilled into the readied earth. Is it easy? No. But it is the only way.
What do you need letting go of? What needs to let go of you? You may choose to embrace Autumn as the organic cycle of death, sacrifice and lament. I believe the seasons bring gifts to us, not only through the natural rhythms of the earth but also psychically, metaphysically, spiritually. Allow this season to mirror you. Lean into it. Let it love you. Let it ravage you. Let it strip you bare. Welcome the harvest. Welcome the death, the agony, the emptiness, the howl. Trust nature. There are seeds of life within your bones.
Embrace the rhythm of nature with a gentle Autumn cleanse for your body.
I’m hosting a giveaway for one spot in Stephanie Perkinson's Deeply Rooted: The Autumn Cleanse on my blog this week. Come enter!