I have a bit of a love hate relationship with fall: I enjoy the beautiful colors of autumn all around me, but I also can’t help but think about what comes afterwards. I’m a summer girl, as are Allegra and Ruby: we thrive on warm weather and sun light.
However, in the spirit of living in the moment – something my cats remind me to do each and every day – I try to embrace autumn in all its glory. I’m making a point to pay attention to the slow changes in the leaves in my backyard, and on my daily walks. I’m focusing on appreciating the beauty of the season, rather than on dreading the inevitable journey toward winter.
Nothing remains the same
Autumn, more than any other season, reminds us that nothing stays the same. Everything goes through a cycle of death and rebirth. For this reason, fall is a good time to take stock and figure out what no longer serves us. As we watch the leaves fall, we are reminded that nature’s cycles are a mirror of our lives.
Autumn reminds us that nothing is permanent. When we don’t fully accept this tenet, we suffer. When we do accept it, we find peace. Accepting that nothing is permanent makes the present moment more precious. But as bittersweet and painful as impermanence can be, there is also beauty in it. The sadness we feel is a consequence of love, and grief can deepen your ability to love if you let it. By accepting the impermanence of everything in life, by allowing your heart to open to life in all its fullness, you open yourself to everything life has to offer.
There is balance between light and darkness
Autumn also reminds us that there is always balance between light and darkness. On the day of the fall equinox, day and night are of equal length. As the days get shorter and shorter heading toward winter, we find ourselves with an opportunity to perhaps rest a little more and do a little less. The Tao reminds us that it is necessary to seek the light within the darkness, and recognize the darkness within the light.
Ultimately, the gift of autumn is about the inevitability of change. Rather than fighting this, why not let the beautiful colors of the season be a reminder to embrace change?
If I need a reminder of all that is good about fall, all I have to do is look at my two beautiful girls with their orange, yellow and tan fall color coats. Nothing brings out the gorgeous colors in torties’ coats better than the light of autumn.
This post was first published October 11, 2015