Today, I found one in my in-box, in the form of a newsletter, “Living in Season,” by Waverly Fitzgerald:
“I feel that urge that so many of us feel in September to begin a new year. I’m eager to get on with new projects, yet still struggling to finish up the old ones. It’s been a difficult summer. Too hot, too scattered, too busy. I look forward to the coolness, the darkness, the quiet, the inward focus of autumn. …
"I know I want to use this turning point to contemplate what I've accomplished during the past year. Certainly not all the things I anticipated. Am I taking on too much? Do I have good balance in my life? Am I spending as much time nurturing myself as nurturing others? It might also be a time to compare my budget (which represents my wishes) with my actual income and expenses (not always pleasurable, but always informative).”
I realized that the tug on my spirit brought on by the first crisp scent of fall was a call to reflect on the very questions Waverly asks in her essay, My Season: Assessing the Harvest.
Fall, the season of gathering the harvest and expressing gratitude for God’s abundant blessings, reminds me of the human spirit’s need for rituals. Surely, this is the reason celebrating Thanksgiving has so much meaning for me, but I’m feeling there should be more reasons to light up our homes than the deeply commercialized versions of Halloween and Christmas.
Perhaps it is time to add a new ritual and celebration in my life. I am intrigued by Michaelmas, the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, Sept. 29. It has been celebrated in various ways over the ages, and is still a time to gather family and friends for a simple harvest meal, offered with prayer and graced by the beauty of fall foliage, including the lovely Michaelmas Daisies.
As you enter into the spirit of fall, may your celebrations recall all you have gathered, begun or accomplished, during the summer season, and be moments of restoring balance in your life.
Lovely photo by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash.