by Helena Uber-Wamble
Autumn gently lulls us to a slower rhythm as light begins to slowly fade from our days. The chill in the air slips in gently over the evening skies to prepare our bodies for the colder days ahead, yet the afternoon sun warms the earth as to promise that there is still time to enjoy before the winter chill seeps totally in.
Leaves are turning colors and falling to the Earth in their last spectacular show before they dry up and crumble to renew the soil below. The summer crops are putting forth their last fruits: some flowers are fading and sunflowers are going to seed. Morning glories are blooming their last few weeks of vibrant hues of purple, lavender and blues, while persimmons are dropping to the ground the soft fruits that can no longer hang on to the branches from which they have swelled. Butterflies sipping the dropped persimmon’s juices while coyotes are consuming all they can of the fruits that are not completely rotted to mush on the forest floor.Roses are putting out their last buds hoping to bloom once more before the frost comes. Okra blossoms are at the very ends of their stalks signaling the last of their crops are ending soon too. And yet — autumn is still abuzz with life. Hummingbirds sipping nectar at the feeders defending their food source and fattening up for their journey, visiting several times an hour to make sure their tummies are full. Swallows and swifts gathering in large numbers and roosting together as they make their way south. Beauty berry clusters turning a vibrant lavender color against the deep purple tones of the pokeberry that towers over them—fruits that will provide much needed food throughout the winter for the birds that stay here all year long.
Squirrels are busy gathering nuts and storing them, and bees fill their combs with honey in preparation for the months ahead. The chill in the air has us stepping a little quicker, prodding us to start preparing too, while the warmth of the afternoon sun allows us to slow down enough to notice the warm hues of rosy-orange streaks that become the most brilliant sunsets yet. The full harvest moon reminds us that there is a lot more work that needs to be done before we can rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
The transition from one season to another paces us for the ebb and flow of work and rest. Each season brings us through that transition gently with plants and animals giving us cues to prepare for what lies ahead: store food, reseed for the next crop to come, go dormant and rest to revive yourself. Remember to have balance – we must all work and rest, work hard, play hard. Gather nectar for the great big journey, then rest awhile before doing it all again. Sleep through the winter with stored banks of sap so when the Earth finally soaks your roots with water you are able to sprout new leaves. Take a moment to pause and just breathe, it is in these moments that we hear the rhythm of the Earth’s heart beat and when we become attuned to its natural force. It is then when we walk in the brisk fall air that we feel alive again and allows us to dream and plan for what is to come.
Autumn lulls us to that slower rhythm as light begins to slowly fade from our days, slow to its pace and enjoy the brilliance around you before the Earth falls into its slumber.