After living 85 miles from the Equator the past several years, I am enchanted by the arrival of autumn here in East Tennessee. The cool, dry air conducts a magical spark of excitement and anticipation. Even as I snuggle deeper into the blankets each morning, I feel a crackling energy within and without, calling me to enjoy this season of transition.
Yet change can be difficult - for many folks, and for many reasons, this time of year carries a melancholy. The warmth and activation of summer have faded away. Dropping temperatures foretell the dread cold of winter. Falling leaves remind us how fleeting life is, there one day and gone the next... I won't even go into the flurry of holidays and family gatherings that are the climax of autumn in the U.S.
Was Emily Brontë being cheeky about smiling and singing through decay? Trying to convince herself of joy just to get through the misery?
"Fall, Leaves, Fall" by Emily Brontë
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.
...Or was she onto something bigger? Maybe I will feel differently about autumn next year, when the novelty of weather and seasonal foods have worn off; but right now, I choose enchantment. I choose to embrace rather than resist the magic of fall. I choose to flow with the dance of dynamic balance between extremes. I choose to feel wonderment as I re-learn Nature's most life-giving lesson: everything changes.
To support me (and you!) in the choice of enchantment, I'm wistfully sharing some resources here to nurture our relationship with this special time of year. I invite you to share your suggestions, too. But first - a vote!
Cozy Resources for Autumn
One of my favorite parts of the transition into autumn and winter is the food! This time of year I gravitate toward soups and stews, warming spices, and comfort foods - a harvest of cozy tastes. This season I'm using Kate O'Donnell's "sweet spice mix" in everything from pancakes to muffins to cookies. I encourage you to try it out wherever cinnamon is involved! Explore a few of these nourishing recipes:
The chillier weather definitely calls for chiller music. I'm magnetized to the sounds of cello, guitar, and ethereal vocals right now. Here is a starter playlist in that spirit. What would you add?
I also HAVE to share my favorite YouTube channel - The Cottage Fairy. Paola lives in rural Washington state and creates beautifully simple, soothing videos about her life there. This was her meditation on preparing for autumn last year:
And for something to look forward to a bit later on, I'll be partnering with my dear friend and colleague Seethu to co-lead a special seasonal offering in November! Get ready for some inner work...