Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thank you summer! Welcome fall!

The fall equinox is this Saturday September 22nd at 10:50 EDT. For traditional peoples around the world, this is one of the times to connect with, give thanks for, and reflect on the natural cycles of this amazing world that we live in.

The fall equinox is a time of balance, when the length of the day is equal to the length of the night. However, as with all cycles, that time of balance is only momentary because everything is in motion. The fall equinox marks the transition from the longer days of summer to the longer nights of fall. It is also the time of the most rapid change. The difference between the length of day and night from one day to the next is greatest at the equinoxes. This is more exaggerated the further north or south of the equator that we live. However, it is reversed in the southern hemisphere. At this time of year the people of the south are experiencing their spring equinox.

Here in the north, this is the time to give thanks for all of the blessings of this past summer: the greater warmth; the longer days; the plant and animal people and landscapes that we had the privilege of interacting with; the foods and medicines that we harvested; time spent with lovers, family and friends; and whatever other blessings that we received. Even the difficult times and experiences are blessings; opportunities to learn, to grow, to be real.

This is also the time to welcome the fall and all of the blessings it will bring: the natural cycles and rhythms of this time as well as the unique experiences that each of us will have. I look forward to the fall harvest; the colours of the leaves; the distinctive smells of this time of year; the low golden sunlight; the crisp clear air; the lengthening nights; the migration of the bird people; harvesting the roots and rhizomes of the plant medicines who have offered to work with me; the deepening silence as much of the world around me goes to sleep.

The golden time: Late afternoon in late summer.

On Saturday we will mark this special time in ceremony: giving thanks for the summer and welcoming the fall; making offerings and prayers, and deepening our relationship with our Earth Mother and all of her children who are part of us and we part of them. The greatest blessing of all is the privilege of being alive in this awesome, mysterious world and able to give thanks at this time once more!