Sunday, November 14, 2010


Having a November birthday has sometimes felt like a bad joke. This is historically my worst time of year. I've hated the shorter days and I've hated the bare trees. I guess more than anything I've feared what I've seen as a sort of death. But in the past couple of years as I've settled more and more into things as they are, I'm starting to see the charm of this time of year. I've started getting into a season for turning in, hunkering down, and tending to the soul.

And I'm not the only one, I see. In the past few weeks I've been finding kindred souls out there, so I thought I'd share. Here's what that lovely Ivan Granger recently included in his email:

"And it is a time of the good darkness. This is the time of year (in the northern hemisphere) when the light of summer and the harvest season recedes, the days grow shorter, and the darkness of winter takes ascendance. This is the good darkness that balances the year. With darker, shorter, colder days, we are less active and turn inward. It is a time that reminds us to return to the dark cave of home and self. It is in this internal, inturning time that we gain insight and strength and, through endurance, find ourselves renewed and ready for the new light to come in springtime. This darkness is the time of spiritual practice that prepares us for the springtime of life and enlightenment. For only in darkness does new life gestate. Only in darkness do our eyes learn to see."

I've only recently discovered Pixie Campbell, but I sense she's a true kindred spirit:

"Allowing, ahem! ALLOWING the season to direct me and discovering again that at this time of year it's okay to hang up my hat of movement once in a while left me...cozy. I think of my grandmother, abuzz in her garden all summer, then winding down to make sausage quietly in the kitchen as the seasons changed. I can see her sitting down in her chair under a lamp and sewing on a piece of a quilt.

"It's as if the bright masculine sun retires for a while, and the darker feminine energies get a chance to come out and play. I enjoy the shift that plays out like this in so many different aspects of life. It felt almost ceremonious to cozy down like a Fox in my den with my tail around my nose, dreaming up the things that will itch to be manifested... next season."

And Lis gives herself (and us) some good advice here:

"To stay healthy (and believe me, working in a university setting, I am seeing everyone dropping like flies) means rest and good nutrition. We love soups and nothing is easier than throwing tons of veggies into a soup pot and letting it simmer into goodness. Fresh fruit is something I also will allow myself to splurge on. Nothing lifts the dark day doldrums like a juicy piece of fruit. Or fresh juice.

"In addition to nourishing my body, I intend to continue to nourish my soul in the coming weeks. Painting keeps me sane, keeps me in touch with the landscape of my inner life and reminds me to look beneath the surface to discover the magic in every moment. My art journals, my painting tribe, my stash of paints - these will be my arsenal for sanity. If a few gifts get made in the process, great, but my priority will be to create for myself. For this is the best way to stay mindful of the beauty of the holiday season. And my very best painting buddy is also my inspiration and muse as she reminds me curiosity is the greatest attribute of an explorer, inventor, artist and lover of life."

And if you're looking for a good soup recipe, my favorite soup for this time of year is Brene Brown's amazing lentil soup. Yum, yum, yum!! Yes, I believe we can embrace this season.

How do you feel about fall?

(Another big thank you to Rodg for the use of his photo!)

Update: Another great post about the challenge of fall on wonderful Nicola's Drama Queen's Guide to Changing the World, here.