Autumn: A Time to Let GoSeptember 21, 2022
Autumn: A Time for Light and WarmthOctober 5, 2022
The squirrels are going nuts. Our backyard has trees – walnut, hickory, and oak. During autumn, the squirrels and chipmunks get busy gathering, digging, storing. Every flowerpot is a prospective stash. At dawn and dusk you can hear “crunch, crunch, crunch” as the deer eat the acorns. It is amazingly loud. They are gathering – food, fat, and thicker fur for the winter.
Last week I wrote about letting go – an intentional process to prepare for the coming winter. Another intentional process is gathering – storing energy for winter.
As you let go of some things, what could you gather to meet your needs and goals? You need fuel and warmth just as the other animals do. As a social primate you need community and positive emotional connection. As a human you flourish when you have a sense of purpose that aligns with your abilities and interests. What might nourish you in the coming season?
The squirrels spend weeks doing this. As I look out the window one is digging a hole while another runs up a tree with a nut in its teeth. A lot of rustling is happening in the next tree over as a squirrel reinforces its nest. Chipmunks disappear down holes every time I glance out. Every dawn and dusk – crunch, crunch, crunch. The animals are in the process of preparing for winter.
What does your process look like as you move through your home and your life? How do you change your space, your task list, and your routines?
I am focused on one room I want to use as an office. As I find things to declutter, I also unearth a cozy blanket that goes on the back of a chair. I find a small crocheting project to keep my hands busy and warm. I gather my writing materials in a more organized way. (Wow, I have a lot of markers! Ok maybe I don’t need all of them!) What do you want to gather for this changing season?
What are the few things you need or want to focus on in the coming season? Your health is primary. Take care of you so that all the other things that you do are possible. How can you make changes to be healthy this season? I have a friend who is a bird watcher. He says there is no such thing as bad weather, there are only “unfortunate clothing choices.” Pull out your outdoor gear! Are there other projects you would like to focus on in the colder weather?
Hmmm…do we need more of this? How do you use these magical devices to enrich your life? Last week I suggested you purge some of these digital connections. Which ones nourish you? Is there a game or show that cheers you, a platform that supports your work, or an app that motivates you to exercise? Set up your home screen to emphasize what you want to spend time on. Having an intentional process allows you to make the decisions rather than be captive to the marketing efforts of thousands of companies that want your attention.
As we enter another autumn with COVID, how are you planning your social connections? You cannot go without community and emotional support. It is so common to say “we need to do coffee!” How do you gather these connections so that they happen? Start a walking group (no matter the weather), plan a Zoom coffee hour, set up a game night with friends, or write a letter.
(I am still open to sending an old-fashioned postcard to anyone who asks for one. Send your mailing address to email@example.com, using “postcard” as a subject line, and look for one of our postcards. We will not use or sell your mailing address for any other reason.)
What does gathering look like for you this autumn as you prepare to meet your needs? Certainly, it does not need to be as frenzied as the squirrels’. Perhaps more like the steady chomp, chomp of the deer twice a day. Set some time aside to consider what would nurture you and your close connections as the days grow cooler.
We will meet on 10/6 at noon EST for a Resilience Check In to share your thoughts on the Autumn Series blogs. The zoom link will be sent to our email list. If you are not already receiving these blogs in your email you can sign up here.
Laura A. Gaines