Here we are on the cusp of a new season. For many of us, the weather will give no indication of the shift underway.
Living in South Florida, one must be alert for the signs. There won't be blazing leaves to announce autumn's presence.
When we first moved down here, we lived in a triplex, with our landlady at one end. I remember one morning I walked out to find her sitting at her door. She inhaled and said, "The weather is changing? Can you feel it?"
I felt nothing different. She assured me that eventually I would be able to see the weather shifting.
I usually notice a change in the quality of light, as the days get slightly shorter at the end of September. I notice my friends' Facebook posts as they go to farmer's markets and autumn festivals. This time of year, I miss the apple orchards in North Carolina:
I'd like to buy some pumpkins, but it's still too early, too hot here. For now, I'll remember a place where the pumpkins are already piled high:
Now, as we move from one season to the next, it's a good time to take stock. What was accomplished? What is left to be done next season? What tasks should fall away?
Rabbi Rachel Barenblat has a great blog post that asks these very questions. She concludes in this interesting way:
"For what do I need to say "I'm sorry" in order to enter the new season, the new year, with a clean slate? Where do I need to create repair in my relationships with other people, with my own soul, with the Earth, with my Source? What old resentments or frustrations do I need to shed in order to walk through this doorway with my spine straight and my shoulders unclenched?
Fall is coming. The new year is coming. Who do I want to become on the other side of this door?"
For years, I wasted time mourning that the shift in seasons was not some ideal I had in my mind, some ideal that I might have experienced precisely once: a hayride, a cup of hot cider, cinnamon donuts, a pumpkin patch where I could pick my own pumpkin, an orchard where I could get set up for pie. For years I wanted to control the weather so that I could have crisp air when I went out to pick apples, so that I could shrug a sweater across my shoulders for the first time.
How much better to think about a threshold, a chance to step through he door into a season of new chances and opportunities. How much better to think about the work that needs to be done so that I can unclench.
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