Fall is traditionally a time of harvesting, a time of completion before hibernation, and a time of endings. For me it’s just the opposite – as much as I love spring and summer, and as much as I tend towards not loving winter (although I do like getting snowed in), fall has traditionally been the time where I start new things, dive into projects (especially new novels), and have even met most of the people who became my best relationships.
I’m not exactly sure why this is. I was born in the fall, but I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. Some things I can guess – I may unconsciously get to work writing a new book, usually a project lasting months, so I can hunker down in my writing room – get my indoor work done – during the cold months. But that doesn’t explain other things, like how it was I ended up meeting most of my closest friends in the fall months, or started most of my romantic relationships in the fall, and so on.
Or I could just quit wondering and enjoy the fact that while everything else in the year is wrapping up come this season, much of mine is just getting going.
I’m no fan of the cold, but cool weather invigorates me and turns my thoughts towards new things, or renewing old things. This year, with my renewed spiritual explorations well underway and reconnecting with old friends in ways I hadn’t for a long while, I’m thinking of a new kind of reinvigoration in the form of trying to live more in the moment and appreciate things that come to me as they come.
That’s what the quote above is all about: recognizing the spiritual in anything (and anyone) that comes into your life. Realizing that the spiritual is all around you instead of being confined to certain buildings or specific ritualistic moments. One piece of this was what my backyard taxonomy post the other day was all about.
It’s also one of the things that depression robs me of the most. In taking away the ability to be here now or at least make doing so extremely difficult, it also takes away your ability to recognize the spirituality – the divine, the holy – in those moments.
But now fall has arrived. I love this season to my bones – the cool air, the crisp smell of the land around me, especially the woods, the smell of wood smoke, the summer haze clearing out of the sky to reveal thousands more stars, and the changing leaves. The Fall is also the time when I’m most and best able to live in the moment and recognize those subtle gifts for what they are. The time when depression retreats the farthest and my optimism is at my highest. I had a couple of bad nights a little over a week ago, but I already feel those black pits pulling away. I know they’ll be back sooner or later, especially once the winter sets in, but I plan to make this fall my season of learning (or relearning) how to recognize that all pieces of life are sacramental.
All pieces. I’m getting better at catching those pieces. Here’s hoping for a great and open-eyed fall.