Autumn Falls

This year the Autumnal Equinox falls on Tuesday, September 23 (2014) UTC.  That’s Monday, September 22 at 9:29 PM CT.

For over a week, I’ve marveled at the growing shadows as the sun slips lower in the sky with Earth’s Autumn attitude growing more each day.

Crisp, cool mornings have graced us and reminded us that Summer has gathered her floral skirts and departed.

Fall is upon us and will soon cover us with brilliant throws and carpeted lawns, freeing us from Summer’s chores.

I sense my mind changing gears – from Summer’s greens to Autumn’s golden hues – from hot and humid to cool and breezy – from picking, pickling and processing the garden to plucking it up and turning it under….

Outward focused for many months,  I now find myself looking within.  Within my house to see what needs to be done to prepare for cold Winter days.  Within myself to unclutter my life and my surroundings.  Within my life to cull that which hinders and to prune that which is no longer productive.

Busy, over packed Summer months with their long sun-filled days offered opportunity to stretch myself to near breaking.  Now, Autumn begins the task of closing out and shutting down, calming and settling, bringing an end to the maddening pace Summer’s long days encouraged.

I greet Autumn open faced and open handed.  With a backward glance at what was Summer’s blush, I step fully into what falls to me as Autumn showers me with a renewed sense of being and the promise of becoming more fully who I am.

Days are growing shorter.  The long nights are coming.  I’ve had long Summer months to prepare.  Did I do enough?  Did I learn enough?  Have I prepared enough?

One thing I know – I did not take enough time to relax and enjoy…enjoy the flowers outside my kitchen door, the hummingbirds at the 4 o’clocks, the Goldfinches on the Zinnias, the wonders in the garden, the miracle of growth, the grasshoppers and the stinkbugs and all their intricate parts working in harmony, the cries of the cicada or the call of the WhipporWill, the cool breeze on my sweaty face, the green of the grass or the earthworm drummed up by my digging.

Take time to smell the roses – I did that once or twice.  The memory of their scent lingers still…I wish I’d slowed my pace and quietened my activities and spent more time seeing and smelling and enjoying and less time doing, doing, doing.

Autumn is fleeting.  Too soon Winter’s blast will drive me indoors, halt the roses’ bloom and freeze colors to dull brownish black.

What can I do today that will open wide the door Autumn offers me – the door to opportunity, to productivity, to joy-filled living, to insight, to clarity, to the appreciation of beauty in the world around me?

Autumn falls upon us without preference or prejudice.  It is what it is and glories in all that it offers.  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to slice off a big chunk just for myself and squeeze all the good out of every day for the next three months!

And, I’m going to celebrate the departure of Summer and the arrival of Fall by taking a 15 minute break right now…pouring myself a steaming cup of black coffee…sitting in the sun on my back porch…enjoying what is.  I owe that to myself…to Summer’s pleasures and Autumn’s promise.

Excuse me while I turn off, unplug, and step outside to become a part of the change that’s taking place around me.

Happy Autumnal Equinox. 😉

Autumn Means…

We know why we call fall…Fall.

It’s the season when things…fall.

  • leaves fall
  • temperature falls
  • night falls earlier
  • blooms fall
  • seeds fall
  • shadows fall
  • rain falls
  • sap falls
  • snow falls
  • summer wear falls into disuse

But, why do we call Fall…Autumn?

It would seem that no one knows for certain!

Autumn appears to have fallen from the Latin word auctumnus, which refers to increase…or perhaps even harvest.

Harvest – now there’s a fitting word for the season that falls after Summer.

And that’s exactly what I did last Thursday, the day before the first killing freeze of this season struck. I harvested EVERYTHING edible in the garden.

It’s hard to look at the fallen garden.  Tomato plants, now dead black, lie withered on the ground. Burnt and blackened peas and bean plants stand ready to fall.  Okra…my beloved okra…my fallen okra….

When I saw the garden two days after the killing freeze, my heart joined the fallen.

“Fall is fitting,” I think as I scuff my feet through fallen leaves that will soon bury the fallen of the garden.

Yes…Fall fits especially well – “fall back” Sunday is this weekend.

Don’t forget to fall back from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. 😉

The Fallen

I took a tumble.

The alarm sounded and in the darkness I reached for my sweatpants.

I grabbed Hubby’s instead.

With my right leg in, I leaned right and lifted my left leg and stuck it into the remaining leg opening, then proceeded to straighten my left leg…weight on my right.

But, my left foot would not clear the end of the pant leg. I pressed the issue, pushing down harder with my foot and pulling up harder with my hands as I attempted to get my foot through the leg of the sweat pants.

Suddenly I was off balance.  My foot popped through the opening just as my right foot left the floor and I teetered to the right and began to fall.

What a helpless feeling to be off balance and know there’s nothing you can do to prevent a fall.

Arms reach out to brace and hands grab at anything.  But, when you’re upended there’s not a lot you can do.  Gravity is in control and down you go.

The bed was behind me and a glass/metal shelf was to my right under the window.  Our bedroom is small and the space in which I tottered was limited.

Up my feet went and down the rest of me crashed – part of me glanced off the bed but most of me fell hard onto the shelf.

As I crashed downward my mind was screaming “NO!” but my body could not comply with my heart’s desire.

Down I went.

The racket I raised was enough to alert Hubby but I was already on my feet by the time he got to me.

“Are you okay? What happened?” he asked.

As I rubbed my bruised arm and stretched my aching back (and gave thanks that the glass/metal shelf did not break) I explained what had happened.

  • It was dark.
  • I grabbed his sweatpants, not mine.
  • Left foot wouldn’t go through the leg.
  • I forced the issue.
  • Right foot was standing on the opening of the left leg.
  • When I pulled hard, I yanked the pants out from under my foot
  • which upended me
  • and I fell, off balance, glancing off the edge of the bed and into the glass/metal shelves.

Bless him – he didn’t laugh.

We all fall.

  • morally
  • mentally
  • physically
  • emotionally
  • verbally
  • relationally

It doesn’t take much and we find ourselves off balance, unable to right ourselves, and down we go.

Bumps, bruises, cuts, breaks…falls hurt.

It really doesn’t matter whether actions that led up to the fall were intentional or accidental – the result is the same. We fall.

Oh, sure, we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and attempt to get on with life without anyone knowing our pain (or, our embarrassment). But, it’s hard.  Falling hurts.

Hubby did exactly what I needed – he offered help, hugs, encouragement, a listening ear, concern – and later, advice that would help me maintain my balance and hopefully prevent another fall.

He didn’t judge me – fallen woman that I was. He didn’t go all righteous on me. He didn’t fuss at me.  He didn’t ask why or how.

He asked, “Are you okay? Are you hurt?” And, he said, “Let me help you.  I love you and I’m sorry you fell.”

May I be ever mindful to return that kindness and concern to another who is among the fallen.