Seasons give us an inescapable reminder of the course of our own lives. As someone in the early autumn of his days, I find myself reflecting on the life lived, and what could still be done in the remainder. (And if you’re looking at that headshot by my byline, you should know it is long past needing an update.)
Adapting to the season is something humans once did with a certain revelry. We marked the turns of the year with festivals, ceremonies, and celebrations. There was wisdom in doing so. Such practices strengthened our communities, allowed us to pass down traditions, and gave us a collective reminder to shift with the season—both in our daily practices and in our deeper being.
On a more metaphorical level, if you’re between 45 and 65, you are also amid a fleeting abundance. These autumn years are typically when you make the most money, have learned the most life lessons, and when you have the greatest capacity to act on your wisdom and capability.
But just as plants must draw their energy inward to survive the winter to come, so must we.
“As the summer season winds down and the weather begins to cool, our behaviors go from the outward expressions of summer to the more inward and reflective activities of fall, which will inevitably prepare us for winter.”
“Fall is a time to clear out the old and make space for the new,” she writes.
“Cleaning, reorganizing, and donating are good practices in the fall and make space for all we will cultivate over the winter. Emotionally, making sure that we have let go of any emotional hurts that have lingered strengthens the lungs both physically and psychologically.”
As we age, we tend to find gratitude for the life we’ve lived, resentment for what others have done to us, or regret for what we have failed to do for ourselves. Fall is a time to reflect on ourselves and recognize what we still need to get rid of, whether that’s four shoeboxes of old postcards we’ll never send, a lingering resentment we can finally forgive, or a dream that was never meant to be.
There is a profound peace that comes with acceptance and surrender, a calm and contentment that we each need and deserve.