As we meander through fall, we find ourselves experiencing more and more darkness. The mornings offer little, if any, light at hours that used to shine brightly. Our evenings are shortened as the sun drops into the western horizon and calls it a night at dinnertime. Although this happens to us every year at this time, it can still take us by surprise when we find ourselves in darkness at hours that used to bustle with activity and plenty of light.
In days past, our bodies and activities were more in tune with the changing of the seasons. We planned our farming and harvesting according to this natural cycle, as well as all areas of our lives. Today, however, we have modern conveniences that allow us to keep the lifestyle and pace moving briskly along, often making this transition from Summer to Fall a bit more shocking.
I can't believe it's dark already! Where did the time go? I still have much to do even though it's dark outside!
Fall is a time to reap our summer's harvest and settle into the simplicity of our lives.
For those who are gardeners, the harvest-time is evident; crops are changing accordingly, or laying to rest until Spring. Yet, for those who buy our produce, we merely wonder why some fruits are harder to find, why the costs of certain veggies have gone up or down, or why some don't taste as good as they used to just a few months ago.
Yet even today's gardener may not have the settling-into-the-simplicity-of-our-lives part down. In our current culture of "full speed ahead" - at LIGHT speed, mind you - we often don't know what this looks like or means.
Slow down? Simplicity? Not with my schedule! I'd sink, for sure!
Darkness offers us a time to slow down. When it's harder to see, we tend to walk slower so we don't trip. However, with flashlights, houselights and driving lights en masse, we expect ourselves to use this technology and keep on going.
It is wise to note that our bodies and spirits remember the natural cycles even if our minds and schedules don't. No matter how much caffeine and to-do's we pump into our systems, our bodies are getting sluggish and tired. Naturally, we have a need for longer nights of sleep. Our energy doesn't seem to last as long as we wish; our pace slows down significantly. Our wise spirits are calling for simplicity and ease. We desire the predictability of rhythm and routine. We yearn for heart-felt connections in small groups and longer periods of solitude.
How can you honor your body's and spirit's need to enter the darkness of Fall with grace?
We only get three months of each season; why not enjoy them? Fall offers us a chance to slow down, reap our harvest and create simplicity in our lives... not to mention some amazing and vibrant colors!