“Savoring calls me to slowness: I can’t savor quickly.
Savoring calls me to spaciousness: I can’t savor everything at once.
Savoring calls me to mindfulness: I can’t savor without being fully present.”
Christine Valters Paintner, Abbey of the Arts
Here on the eastern edge of the Canadian Rockies, autumn falls in graceful disarray. Summer leaves turn golden and crisp chilly mornings awaken each day with hints of frosty filigreed mornings glistening on the horizon.
Autumn is my favourite time of year. It is a time to savor sun-soaked days filled with long golden rays of light lengthening the day’s shadows. It is a time to breathe deeply into morning’s indolent passage from night. To savour sunlight bursting with fierce determination across the windswept land. It is a time to settle into evening’s cozy light embracing the earth as the moon sends the sun early to bed behind the snow-tipped ridges of the Rockies sprawled out across the horizon.
It is a time to harvest. To pluck still green tomatoes from the vine and gather round the hearth to share in autumn soups and hearty breads. It is a time to gaze into the faces of those you have gathered round the table to share in autumn’s bounty and to treasure the faces of your loved one’s shining in the light of a hundred candles glowing in the night.
Autumn is a time of release, of moving into stillness, of letting go to fall with grace into silent rest.
It is a time of preparation and renewal. Of savouring the paradox found in summer shedding its vibrant cloak of bounty as you prepare the soil for winter’s long rest yet to embrace the earth.
I find myself in autumn’s gaze balancing the tension between releasing old ideas that no longer bear fruit with harvesting the abundance of all the seeds I’ve planted throughout the year.
In the tension of release and gathering I find myself looking inward, seeking comfort in the well-worn pathways to my heart.
In autumn’s slow, long light filtered through the branches lining leaf-strewn paths, I see the way more clearly. Life is an eternal circle of release and renewal. Relinquishing and rebirth.
Autumn soils bear the inspiration of spring’s first flowers even as trees shed their leaves in the sudden gusts of north wind blowing in on a breath of Arctic chilled air eager to embrace the land.
Autumn reminds us there is life and death in everything. It reminds us to hold onto life and to honour the dying as we release our fear of the unknown. It reminds us to let go and surrender to the beauty and the sorrow of living on this earth, and of leaving it. It urges us to dance in the sun’s shortening gaze and release our fears to the night.
Autumn is a time of contradiction and contemplation. It is a time to celebrate the bounty of harvest, and to prepare for the scarcity of winter.
Autumn urges us to give thanks, to sip the sweet wines of vine ripened grapes and to rejoice in letting go of summer ripened fruits as we dig into the earth to savour the rooted bounty growing beneath the surface.
And as autumn descends in fiery beauty, I breathe deeply into the rich verdant soil of my life and rejoice. Autumn is descending. My heart is full and life is a rich and vibrant journey filled with the bounty of this life I treasure and those who make it so rich and beautiful.
Autumn is falling and I give thanks as I rejoice in all I have to hold onto and to let go of, to savour and to release.