Autumn Brushes Past, by Sarah Shaw (click to open)

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Autumn reveals itself slowly, it sits at the edges of our awareness until its cool winds grow strong enough that we feel the need to put a coat on before we leave the house and we notice for the first time the transformations of the season is taking place all around us.

It is only when the last fruits and vegetables have been collected in, the early autumn mists begin roll across at dawn, the morning air feels cool and fresh and the trees have begun to deck themselves in changing patterns of red and gold that we sense Autumn has arrived.

Just as animals gather acorns to store for winter so we can gather our thoughts and look reflectively at what we have achieved over the year it’s a time to ‘reap the fruit of our accomplishments’. Autumn brings with it a new slowness of being for most of us, as the pace of our lives change along with that of Mother Earth’s. As the days grow shorter and the blossoms that brightened our gardens through summer’s warmth die away we tend to acknowledge the changing season without understanding that we, too are in transition.

The beauty of autumn’s colours, the flocks of honking geese flying south for the winter and the arrival of a bountiful harvest are all signs that our lives will soon be changing. Autumn’s pleasures and rituals revolve around the gathering of abundance in preparation for the winter to come. There is enough time to contemplate what we accomplished during the summer seasons while tasting the year’s first cider or breathing in the fragrance of damp earth as fallen leaves begin to breakdown into the land. The same stirring that signals to animals to burrow deep into the earth compels us to celebrate the rich bounty we instinctively know will not appear again until springtime.

The transformations undergone by living things can seem much more like death rather then the transitions it really is. Our priorities change as do those in nature, and as the bright sun sits low in the sky we will slowly move into a time of slumber, but remember to rejoice in the beauty of the season because the wheel will soon turn and a new beginning will be with us once again.

Sarah Shaw

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