I have a bit of a love-hurt relationship with fall.
When the air gets that ever so slight chill. When the light changes and the sun stays low for long. When the leaves turn from fresh to deep. It is then that I find myself cosying up in warm knits, tantalized by the cool wind that clears my mind, ignites a spark and refreshens my view. It is then that I prepare our home for hibernation, for long dark evenings candlelit. For hearty dinners around the kitchen table, shared with family and friends. It is then that I feel universal permission to slow down and reflect on (daily) life.
No matter how much love I have for this season, it also presents some less pleasurable emotions. The increasing dark that surrounds me starts to spill its paint onto my head and heart. They turn a deeper, richer shade. This makes me a bit melancholic and brings up thoughts of impermanence, loss and the fear that comes with it. I think of the people I’ve lost and feel the sorrow of letting go.
And you know what? That’s okay. That’s totally and utterly fine. Life is not stagnant, not fixed. Life is ever changing, diverse and dynamic. We are not always blissfully energetic. We are not always self-assured and outgoing. We are part of nature, and like her enjoy our seasons. We move with her. We are affected by her. We change. It is this dance that makes our lives richer, deeper, broader and sundry.
Instead of battling and pushing these autumnal feelings aside, I have -over the years- found ways to welcome and thus benefit from them. Allowing whatever presents it self, connecting to that and working with it, describes these ways best.
Learning about the symbolic meaning of the seasons and what nature might present me with physically, mentally and spiritually has helped me to understand what’s going on within. It not only gives clarity (Aha! That’s why!), but also reassurance. It is not strange or abnormal to feel a bit gloomy, to withdraw slightly, to find it difficult to end a project or relationship. You are not strange or abnormal. You’re just, like the foliage, changing your colours.
After an outgoing summer filled with cheerful conversation, laughter and parties, autumn gives us the opportunity to dive into the depths of our heart, to rediscover what we find meaningful, to embark on soul searching and to explore or even overcome fear. This might not always feel ‘easy breezy’ but is not less valuable or significant than the things we find pleasant and exhilarating. Like all the laughter we shared during July picnics, the faraway travels that lit up our senses and the enticing summer surf sessions we engaged in.
Below you’ll find some symbolic aspects of autumn that may help you to indulge in and feel the glory of letting go, diving deep, looking in and reflecting on.
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Letting go, the darker and more hidden aspects of (your) life, reflecting, introspecting and allowing mystery.
Wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, apples, pomegranates, ivy, dried seeds and horns of plenty.
Acorn, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, myrrh, sage, thistle and vegetables.
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and earthy vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and onions.
Blend of benzoin, myrrh and sage.
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown and gold.
Making jams, preserving foods, fermenting, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, reflecting on what it is that’s not working for you and would be best to let go of, reflecting on what makes your life meaningful, mild warming detoxes and honoring those who have passed.
Kyra’s Autumn Favourites
Music. Screws by Nils Frahm. Free to download here.
Dish. Brown rice risotto with chantarelles, chestnuts and cavolo nero.
Beverage. ‘Hot’ cacao made with hazelnutmylk, vanilla and raw cacao.
Flowers. Amaranth, branches of tiny apple and asparagus fern.
Book. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.
Bag. Ella Midi in Forrest Green by O My Bag.
Winter coat. Cocoon coat in camel by Elizabeth Suzann.
Boots. Any shoe by Petrucha.
Blanket. Quilt by By Molle.
Colours. Dried olive leaf green, deep forrest green, burgundy, anthracite, deep mustard, brown, cream, taupe and gold.
Activities. Foraging, making a fall table, long relaxed conversations in a warm dark café, playing LP records, mending and sewing clothes, clearing and cleaning the home, restocking the pantry with autumn staples, dyeing cloth, making fresh sauerkraut, reading, tinkering, candlelit dinning and baking pie.
Daily (healing) rituals. Journaling, body rub with warm sesame oil, pre-sunrise yogasession in stillness.
Photos and text (c) (copyright) kyra. at kyra’s kitchen.