From Prairie Star blogger, Lisa...
I readily admit to my obsession with the seasons. Life on the prairie creates distinctive seasons – their arrival and departure is beautiful and sometimes harsh. I’m particularly obsessed with this fall transition. It brings with it discomfort, a call to action that is not yet fully formed.
This time of the year marks the seasonal transition from late summer to autumn. Revered as a holiday in ancient cultures, it takes many forms - Celtic Samhain, medieval Christianity’s All Saints Day, followed by All Soul’s Day, la Toussaint – the celebration of All Saints’ Day in France, and Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico. They share a common theme – celebration of ancestral wisdom and the past. It’s a time when the veil between life and death becomes thinner – providing the opportunity to communicate with the generations of family and loved ones that have gone before us. I appreciate this as a time of meditation and prayer, asking for guidance and listening for answers.
Autumn is essentially the season of letting go. Do you find letting go to be easy or difficult? I’m sitting in my office, three stacks of books sit beside my already full bookcase – all are beloved, sitting here because I’ve recently touched them – used them as references for a recent presentation or writing project. I’m startled by what they reveal – my need to look outside myself for the answer – perhaps that quest for information is what led me to research as a career choice.
Autumn makes me uncomfortable - I need to clear space. The stacks of books present themselves as my challenge. Letting go of things means that I trust myself, my inner voice, to inform and guide me. Trusting my inner voice, what does that really mean? For years, I’ve been trained as a researcher – searching out and collecting information, then making sense of it. The difficulty became – when do I have enough information? The world that we live in bombards us with messages – “you are not enough, buy this product, wear these shoes, drive this car, drink this coffee...”. The messages crowd out the inner voice – which often speaks quietly.
Autumn allows me to let go of the clutter and the noise, clearing a space for the inner voice to take a deep breath - to sing, to chant, to tell stories, to recite poetry, and to be nourished by the silence that was created by letting go. The veil is thin. The cleared space, now quiet, allows my inner voice to ask important questions and wait for answers. These, after all, are the voices that I trust.
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