Dear Autumn…

45048415 - autumn woman

Dear Autumn,

Our paths are crossing once again and often, at this time of year, I don’t feel quite ready to welcome you with open arms. Instead, I tend to feel a tinge of sadness when you creep in with your darker, chillier mornings and shorter days and I find myself still pining after summer’s warmer temperatures and longer, balmier evenings.

But this year feels different. This year I do feel ready for you.

Maybe it’s because we’ve enjoyed so much good weather over the past few months.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been here 40-odd times before and have finally accepted the cycle of the seasons.

Or maybe it’s because, this year, I actually do want to slow down.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the higher energy levels of the spring and summer but I also need a little downtime to re-evaluate and recharge after those busy months and that, dear Autumn, is where you come in…you are, after all, the start of nature’s resting phase.

Sadly, however, I don’t think the modern world sees things quite the same way…

Nowadays daily life is frantic and we are led to believe that nothing is ever enough; we need to do more, achieve more, buy more and constantly strive. But that’s not what the law of nature says; nature says it’s impossible to keep producing all the time and that we need a period of downtime and reflection before we can regenerate and replenish once again. And that makes total sense…doesn’t it?

At this time of year people cut back their gardens in preparation for the winter. After the extensive growth of the sun-filled spring and summer months, they prepare the land for the colder, darker and less productive seasons. Even the trees themselves have their own spectacular shedding ritual so why don’t we also tend to make parallel cut backs in our own lives at this time of year?

The simple answer is that technology has made it so that we can just override the cycle of nature and carry on continuously at the same – or even faster! – pace, like robots. We are encouraged to live constantly in the “doing” phase of the cycle, synonymous with spring and summer, and to avoid the “being” phase of autumn and winter. Funny really, considering that we are called human “beings” and not human doings

Well, Autumn, this year I plan to make the most of your longer nights by truly relishing warm meals with my family, by playing board games with my children, by enjoying the occasional hot bubble bath and by regularly going to bed early with a good book. And, just like your beautiful trees shedding their leaves, I am going to shed any unnecessary commitments from my calendar, clear out any items I no longer need in my house and focus on what is truly important in my life. This year, I am going to graciously accept your kind offer of downtime.

With love,

MM

Image from http://www.123rf.com

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