This time of year feels refreshing. Even if we aren’t a student or teacher starting off a school year, fall feels like the start of a brand new season with its vibrant leaves, crisp apples and refreshing autumn air.
Only fervent haters of heat and the most devoted of winter sports fanatics are actually happy that summer is officially over and winter is inching its way toward us as we notice the nights falling a little earlier every evening and the fiery leaves start to swirl and fall all around us.
Autumn formally began just a few days ago on September 23rd on the fall equinox. Equinoxes occur twice a year–spring in March and fall in September for those of us in the northern half of the globe and vice versa for the southern half.
The equinox is determined by the exact date when the amount of daylight hours are equal, twelve hours of light and twelve dark for the whole earth.
It’s an ideal time to think about balance as we transition out of one season into another. Fall is a season when we may naturally want to take stock of what we need to gather and what would be good to let go of.
We can learn from watching nature as the deciduous ones undergo a visible change, then release their leaves, which go on to provide a blanket of nutrition for the ground. The coniferous trees hang onto their green needles all through the winter, keeping them evergreen.
Since we’re not trees we can both let go and hang on. We may need to release some activities or items that may drain our resources. Others we choose to preserve and store for the season ahead.
Squirrels take fall particularly seriously. They are almost comical in their intense efforts to gather as many nuts, apples and garden goodies as possible, stashing them in the most unlikely of places.
While fall has that fresh start feel, autumn can also feel a little like we are going downhill as the light fades and the temperatures drop. I’ve realized I need to consciously choose to rise up in some way at this time of year instead of fall into old routines that could use an upgrade. Even a slight upturn of an airplane’s angle can make the difference between a crash and an ascent.
A new school year is a good time to think of something new to do or learn, remembering to prune some room for it if our schedules are already full. The time is ripe to let go of some leaves off the tree of our lives to free up energy and room for new growth to occur.