By Mary Boutieller
To resist what is, is to miss the beauty that each season has to offer.
Lately, I’ve been doing some fall cleaning, organizing drawers and donating things that no longer serve the greater good at home. All around me, squirrels are eagerly collecting nuts and preparing for winter, and the Earth itself seems to be catching its collective breath, getting ready for the shorter days to come. This time of year gives us a reprieve from the summer heat and a respite from the anticipated winter months ahead. It also gives us time to prepare our warm beds, tend to our harvests and enjoy time outdoors.
I’ve often wondered how it would feel to be deeply attuned to the rhythms of Mother Nature: to wake and sleep by the changing light of day, to know when to migrate south and when to head back home. What would it be like to let go of the modernity of our lives and intimately know our surroundings? Even now, it is dark outside as I sit near a lamp typing on a computer, yet I can hear the crickets chirping their nightly song through an open window. How do they know when it is time to sing?
Maya Tiwari said, “When the seasons change, we experience a sympathetic internal shift. All life-forms open themselves up to receive cosmic redirection from nature during these crucial seasonal transitions, so we are likely to be more vulnerable and unsettled.”
As if cued by an invisible force, perhaps we notice that something is different as we move from one season to another. Our human-ness receives this message that something is shifting, yet so often we go about our days in a trance, unaware of the changing light on the trees right outside our window. We have forgotten what our ancestors knew. We have forgotten about the “cosmic redirection” so inherent in our souls’ journey.
Author Jane Hamilton wrote, “There were so many miracles at work: that a blossom might become a peach, that a bee could make honey in its thorax, that rain might someday fall. I thought then about the seasons changing, and in the gray of night I could almost will myself to see the azure sky, the gold of the maple leaves, the crimson of the ripe apples, the hoarfrost on the grass.”
Our lives change too, from birth to youth to old age (if we are lucky). Oddly, instead of welcoming these shifts, we resist getting older and we ignore the undeniable fact that our time is finite. To resist what is, is to miss the beauty that each season has to offer.
Not all seasons are bountiful, though, and we know that they won’t always be easy. Some years bear fruit and some do not. Yet, therein lies the rub. It’s those challenging times—those seasons when the ground lies fallow—when we build up our reserves for what comes next. I think that we are never too old to grow our lives (and ourselves) into what we want them to be. It’s never too late to begin again, to rise up from the soil. We are ripe with possibility and will be until our last breath.
Pause and imagine the Earth shifting beneath your feet. Take a moment to notice that the birds have changed their song and that the sky is a deeper blue than it was just a month ago? Tap into your ancestral knowing for just one breath, and imagine lying under the star-lit sky on a clear, beautiful night, listening to the crickets sing.
Kristen Dalton said, “Be aware of what season you are in and give yourself the grace to be there.”
We can simply give ourselves the grace to be where we are at this present moment. And while we are at it, we can remember that the rhythms of the Earth, the rhythms of our bodies and the music that we dance to are all in sync, if we would just allow it. May we find gratitude for all the lessons that the seasons impart along the way.
Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.