Autumn usually has its way with me. It draws me inward and nudges me to let go of what needs letting go of. I welcome the cool temperatures and growing darkness. I remember the years of cocooning during this season. I remember my love of learning, new books, and going back to school. Every autumn I go into the woods bow hunting. I spend countless hours sitting still in observation and intuition. This autumn has me letting go of more and making room for whatever is to come next in my life. In my sixty third autumn, this year, I’m experiencing death and birth simultaneously, at least some of the time. I sense something new birthing within as something else is dying.
Love and sorrow, love and grief, life and death, are often felt in the same place, in the chest cavity, the heart area in particular. The stump I came upon this autumn serves as a reminder that death can open space and provide nutrients for something new to grow. Life and death live together on the stump just as life and death exist together within human beings.
Autumn is a good time to reflect on one’s spiritual life. A gentle, non-judgmental, compassionate look inward is one gift we can offer ourselves. Whether you prefer the solace of an empty church, a walk outdoors, a lit candle, a tree-stand, or a paddle on the lake, find your spot, relax your body, expand your vision, and become one with your heart for a moment, a day, or as long as you want.
I leave you with this reflection, my last with St. Anthony’s, and in gratitude for the opportunity.