Autumn is a season of release. Leaves fall, light fades, crickets slow down then cease their song, the days shorten, and flowers drop into the earth.
I’m in the flow of the season, letting go of small things (and some big), taking stones to the sea and offering them to the water.
While in spring I clean: mostly winter dust and mould. In autumn I release. This year it’s mostly leaves – of paper, old files and documents, old letters and cards — accumulations from the past that no longer have a purpose.
It’s also a season for acceptance, that some things have passed, never to return.
There is an art to releasing
I discovered the art when I found myself spontaneously making arrangements of my collected stones and shells on the rain-dappled sand.
I was going to throw them into the sea, but the tide was out, the beach was empty, and I found myself drawn to create something new.
I realised then that I had included an essential element in the process of letting go.
What is that essential element?
It is honouring.
By making something beautiful, I appreciated and honoured those shells and stones. I remembered how carefully I’d chosen them many years ago. I dared to love them again, at the point of sacrifice.
With the coconut shell, I made a video of its release to the ocean.
But a surprising thing happened. The ocean tossed it around in the waves, and then gave it back to me. (You will find the video of this on my Facebook page).
I realised that the shell was a symbol of emptiness in this season of letting go, and it needed to linger in my life a little longer. I took it home.
If you find grief surfacing in this season, don’t be surprised.
With nature so full of signs of dying, it is natural to remember our loved ones who have passed. Celtic Samhain (Halloween), the ancient festival that marks the threshold to winter, is a time when it was said ‘the veils between the worlds are thin’.
April 30 is the date of this transition point in the southern hemisphere sun cycle; halfway between autumn equinox and winter solstice.
Each year, with family or friends, I light a candle and remember those who have died. It is a poignant time, with permission to feel the loss and release tears. In the company of others, I feel comforted.
Last year I took my grandchildren to visit the graves of my parents, whom they never knew. Heritage and ancestry are also themes for Samhain.
The earth receives your offerings
You may like to offer to the earth or the waters in this season, whatever it is that you need to release.
Releasing is a process that takes us through grief, emptying out, and forward into relief and freedom.
Blessings to you all in this tender season,
PS I wrote a book about releasing through grieving into freedom and lightness. You can check it out here.