Autumn is on it’s way and I can feel the pull and the turning. I’ve been picking blackberries nearly every day. The bushes are literally bursting with their generosity, and now my freezer is too. Winter will be made all the sweeter by this season’s harvest.
Speaking of harvest, around this time of year, I often run my Living Seasonally Autumn course. It’s a chance to reflect on the year so far and tune in with the rhythms of the seasons. It is particularly a chance to think of harvesting your own life, and then contemplating on what needs to fall away in order to create space for new growth down the line.
The autumn equinox is not for another few weeks, when I’ll share the Celtic ritual for that threshold, but I am aware of the ‘back to school feeling’ at the moment. So many people have been speaking of transitions, and not feeling grounded.
I decided not to run the course this Autumn. I am in the process of reconfiguring my online teaching, but that does not detract from the value of reflection and tuning in at this time of year- and I am feeling the gap too!
I’ve been savouring the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer this year also, reading each essay slowly, and sometimes twice. It’s so rich and lyrical, and grounded. She speaks a lot of reciprocity and generosity as nature’s rhythms. The final paragraph sums up so much of my current thinking, which I am seeking to incorporate not only into how I share my gifts, but also the economy in which this operates.
‘The moral covenant of reciprocity calls us to honour our responsibilities for all that we have been given, for all that we have taken. It’s our turn now, long overdue. Let us hold a giveaway for Mother Earth, spread out blankets out for her and pile them high with gifts of our own making. Imagine the books, the paintings, the poems, the clever machines, the compassionate acts, the transcendent ideas, the perfect tools. The fierce defence of all that has been given. Gifts of mind, hands, heart, voice and vision, all offered up on behalf of the earth. Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and to dance for the renewal of the world.
In return for the privilege of breath’
Happy harvesting folks, happy reflecting.
May your gifts of mind, hand, heart, vision and voice be offered. We need them now, so much.
Onwards and with love
(I’m grateful to Orlagh O’Brien for her original design on the planner, which was the result of a gift exchange between us: her design services, for my coaching services— the gift economy in action).