This month marks the end of summer as the long days now give way to darkness. Evenings cool and nights lengthen. Our gardens burst with bounty. The first grains are now ready for harvest. To the ancients this was a magical time marked with feast days. Their agriculture year was divided by quarters based on the movements of the sun marking the solstices and equinoxes. The ancients feasted on these days to herald the changing seasons. Across the world, mid-autumn harvest festivals marked the month as the fruits of the field were gathered and all were thankful for the abundance. Although in America we celebrate bounty in November with Thanksgiving, many cultures all over the world from the Indians, Chinese, Korean, Israelis to the Japanese celebrate a mid autumn festival, some at the fall equinox, giving thanks for the bounty of the year as they take time to reflect on nature's blessings.
The Autumnal Equinox on the 23 marks the day when the hours of light and darkness become equal, indeed the Latin word equinox means equal. From this point on the days will begin to shorten and nights cool and lengthen reminding all of winters approach. Now is the time when the warmth is behind us and cold lies ahead. To the ancients this was a time to take stock and be grateful for the gifts of the earth, knowing they had food to eat even as the crops withered and the fields grew dormant. For us it is the perfect time to frolic outdoors as nature waits in all of her glory.
As summer draws to an end take time out of your routine and reconnect to the natural world. Allow yourself to move within its slower, more harmonious rhythms as you open your eyes to the world around you. Take in the trees, the flowers, the birds calling over head, the antics of the squirrels as they frolicking in the trees. Breathe deep the scent of rain and smile. There is magic all around us just waiting to be discovered. Allow yourself to glory in the sight of the sun setting on a myriad of waves as you stand on a beach. Rejoice as you splash in the cool water or gather around a bonfire to swap stories. This is the stuff of summer, the fluff that memories are made of.
It is in nature that we can reconnect to the Divine. We need only listen to the subtle whispers and nudges as Spirit speaks to us. Make a conscious effort to slow down and become aware of your surroundings. Signs of the Divine are everywhere. We just need to be receptive to them. As Eden Phillpotts once said, "The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." We are surrounded by wonders. Just venture outdoors and open your eyes. Take a moment to read the sacred in your daily walk understanding that spirituality is not to be found in a sacred space only on Sundays but in the moments of our everyday lives. Reconnecting with the natural world is an easy way to encounter the divine as you come to understand that life is a sacred journey and spirit is at work around us in all things: In the power of the wind at the approach of the thunderstorm, at the brilliance of the setting sun in the wonder of the tiny bird as she weaves her nest.
Allow the blessing of the natural world to enrich your life this month. Use the energy of this moon to reevaluate your health and happiness. Remember life is what you make it but a good diet, daily exercise, the practice of yoga and daily meditation are wonderful vehicles to a balanced, fuller, rewarding existence. Our bodies are so much more than meets the eye. Of course we are flesh, blood and bone but we are also Spirit and we need to make it a priority to nourish our spirit. It’s in the small moments we come to Spirit. When we welcome the day, share a laugh, appreciate our blessings that we find the divine. When we are thankful for what we have and all the potential we have to be, when we celebrate our friends and loved ones, or take a conscious breath, we wake to the Divine.
Go outside and open your eyes to the magic around you. By utilizing the elements of the natural world in a conscious way to further our spiritual connections, we enable ourselves to better observe the emerging life that is within us. Go ahead, Your life is waiting.