Today is the Autumn Equinox, a celestial event when all points on the Earth, as it travels along its trajectory around the Sun, receive equal amount of day light and darkness. The long Summer days have gone and we are not yet at the time of long Winter nights… at the Equinox, we are in the middle of the Sun’s journey between Solstices. Our days are approximately the same length as our nights right now and with this, nature teaches us about balance and harmony.
During the Summer, our energy and focus tend to be on the world outside. With the arrival of Autumn, the time for growth has ended and is replaced by a new phase of ripening and eventually decay. In our garden, a lot of the Summer flowers have now perished and are ready to be cut and added to the compost pile where they will transform into rich, nutritious matter that can be fed back to the garden later. This is all part of a natural cycle where, for all living things, life and death are interdependent.
The beginning of Autumn now invites us to look inwards in order to bring some balance to our life. The Autumn Equinox, a momentary pause when day and night are in balance before night slowly gains over day, invites us to catch our breath after a busy and active summertime and pause for quiet reflection for a while. To bring balance and harmony into our lives, it is important to give ourselves time to look back over the past year - and even our life – and make plans for the future. Autumn is the time to welcome our own dormant phase of composting and hibernation; we can do this by letting go of what no longer serves us, what takes us away from our true nature and what complicates life. At this time of year, trees shed their leaves and send their energy down to their roots and flowers drop their seeds to the ground where they will spend the Winter. We too need some time to return to our own roots and the simple life; we too need to drop future plans and ideas and give them time to hibernate. I have noticed that I am beginning to feel a need to draw my energy in, to slow down, to wrap up and to prepare the house for the colder and darker months towards which the wheel of the year is turning.
The Autumn Equinox, a temporary alignment between Sun and Earth that creates this momentary equality between day and night, also teaches us about balance of a fluid nature rather than a rigid, constant and fixed one. Life is full of extremes and polarities: in/out, light/dark, day/night, growth/decay, active/passive, right/wrong, push/pull, up/down, left/right, logic/intuition, rest/work etc and when we become attached to and entrenched in one particular way of thinking, doing and being, we take ourselves away from a harmonious experience of life and we become stressed and even ill. The Equinox gives us the opportunity to bring opposites into our awareness, to let go of our attachment to one or the other and to create a new vantage point in life from where we can experience harmony, wellbeing, unity and peace. To me, it feels like a welcome reset to bring me back to me.
On this Autumn Equinox, the questions I am exploring are: what do I need to feel more balanced now? What needs to shift so that I can change to become closer to who I really am? What within myself needs tidying away and taking to the compost? With Nature as a guide, I trust that I can find my own answers so you will find me in my garden cutting back, tidying away and composting all the Summer growth that has now come to pass.