Autumnal Equinox, Meán Fómhair (myawn FOE-wir)

Paying attention to the seasons and nature is a healing for me. My work involves long bouts of time on a computer – it’s so easy to become disconnected, going from the computer to crashing in front of a tv exhausted in the eves or plunking myself down in front of a sewing machine.  When outdoors, in the shade of trees or at an ocean shore, I feel the tensions of our post industrial era life slip away. I’d promised myself when I moved to my home in the mountains, I’d have my first cup of coffee on my back deck in the morning to set the day. I kept that promise for a good while before I let my work again thrust itself front and center from the moment I wake up until close of day.

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It is the  Autumnal Equinox, Meán Fómhair those with Celtic roots, I believe it’s a good time to reset those promises. If I am shoved from my morning moment by some critical early morning meeting, then I can stargaze that evening with a cup of tea or glass of wine. Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that grew into a bit of a time and personal management empire, accurately noted “you never hear of anyone on their deathbed saying I wish I’d spent more time at work”.  So, it’s time for back to nature moments for Maggie.

Fall equinox is that time when day and night are of equal length (scientists do argue the minutiae of this), for those of us in the northern hemisphere each night becomes longer as we descend towards winter. It’s a time of celebration for the wealth of your harvest.  A reminder that this is your last chance to tie up the loose ends of summer. Have fun and let a little magic into your own observance of the seasons.  Bake a cake with “new grains” and share it with friends.  I like to pick up new cornmeal and do cornbreads that I team with apple butter.  Take half or a quarter of your new bread (or some grain or cracker) and sprinkle it about your property as an offering to your faeries, the green man, the spirit of your favorite tree or simply a hello to the birds that you share your neighborhood with. Cider, alcohol or herbs are also appropriate with offerings sprinkled over the fields (your veggie garden).  You wanted to start the fall baking season with fresh herbs anyway, right? Leave gifts of flower or pretty sprig around tree and shrub bases. Simply make some time to stargaze as you think about your life and what you want it to be about while you’re here sharing this earth.  Take a walk and see how many birds you can spot or what type of nature you can observe.

The U.S. Thanksgiving is not until November, but the spirit of it – end of harvest season with cornucopias, pumpkins, gourds, colored corn, decorations, celebration and a reverence with Thanks is what the fall equinox has been traditionally about.

So, drag yourself away from the computer, step outside (or at least look out the window) and think for a moment what a beautiful earth this is (even if you have to look up at the stars and to not see your neighbor’s trash bin 🙂 ).

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