Category Archives: autumn

Nature’s New Year

Midway between equinox and solstice, the dark time of the year begins. And right on cue, the first snowflakes fall from the sky, beautifully drifting down at a meditative pace.  The leaves have dropped from most trees, leaving behind decorative bright red berries or helicopter seed pods. In nature lore the sacred Crone mourns the death of her spouse for the next six weeks, until the solar babe is born and the light begins its annual growth. A time of peaceful reflection, rest, and waiting.

 

Apple harvest moon

On a mellow evening in September, I was coming from the garden with a heavy basket of apples which I had been gathering. It had gotten dusk, and the moon looked over the high wall of the court, causing undefined shadows to lurk in the corners of numerous projecting portions of the building. I set my burden on the house steps by the kitchen door, and lingered to rest, and draw in a few more breaths of the soft, sweet air; my eyes were on the moon, and my back to the entrance, when I heard a voice behind me say– “Nelly, is that you?”

~Chapter X, Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

Autumn Moon

A wonderful moon! Gateway to Autumn, easing us in slowly, deliciously…

It began with the first inklings of summer’s end:
Two bright yellow jewels in the green grass – the first fallen leaves.
Six geese making their pilgrim way across dusk-darkening sky at 9pm.

It shines brightly now on comfortably cool nighttimes; darkness falling ever-earlier.

Mornings are moonless at this time: sunrise presides over crisp morning walks,
under bright clear skies trailing high clouds that capture ever-shifting colours.
Elm trees presenting a single, stark, yellow-clustered branch among the summer-green.

And it will end with the autumnal equinox, ushering out Summer.

Coronation

The apparently vacant stump showed a flurry of activity this afternoon…

 

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This life, a blessing come
by turning to and from the star
that gives us morning

Excerpt from the song Morning
~Carolyn McDade, (c) 1998

Went to Carolyn’s song circle this spring – so much wonderful nature imagery!

The Rattle

The water running in the river
Is the sound of the rattle

The wind blowing through the trees
Is the sound of the rattle

The dry leaves fallen to the ground
Is the sound of the rattle

And even in the winter, when the leaves are gone and the water frozen,
The wind blows across the hard crust of snow, scattering loose icy crystals across the surface,
and that, too, Is the sound of the rattle

When you are feeling disconnected: lonely, despairing…

Take the rattle and some sweetgrass,
Go out, sit with it, and listen
And you will be reconnected with creation.*


 

These sounds in nature have a profoundly moving and soothing effect on me, every time I experience them. This teaching is a gift – giving a new way to relate and connect with these powerful aspects of this earth when I experience them. It is a gift to have a meaning (especially a nature-related one!) associated with the rattle when I encounter it in life now.  Connection with nature here is a means of personal healing and integral wellness, which makes good sense to me.

*A half-remembered paraphrase of the rattle-maker’s lesson,
Given through the film, Gently Whispering the Circle Back, by filmmaker Beth Wishart MacKenzie
Set at Blue Quills First Nations College in St Paul, Alberta