Sunday, October 21, 2007

The beauty of autumn: The Gifting Cycle

Shimmer shadows shiver
Upon the water
Leaves, crisp and rusty rattle
In the wind.
Nostalgia, like a woolen blanket
Over me, and the earth
That comforting closeness of sleep
Or death
In the breathless air.

I like taking walks in the cold, windy weather. In Tucson I'd wander up wet arroyos in winter, with the wind blowing, and the sky full of clouds, feeling the wind in my hair, and blow through and around me. I like the movement of wind, vata, whirling, playing, flying. It is a nice contrast to the kapha in me, the steady, unmoving, settled, sometimes stagnant, nurturing earthed nature in me. The wind stirs me up, moves things in me otherwise kept warm and close in corners of my mind.
I walked in the wind and the snow today, next to the creek, yellow willow and cottonwood leaves littering the ground, milkweed pods exploded and white fuzz blowing through the air, a flock of blackbirds cackling in the trees.

Walking in the windy, cold weather, with rain, or snow, it makes me feel alive. It awakens the senses of the feel the cold on my skin, to feel the warmth of blood coursing through my veins. To feel the cold, fresh air filling lungs. To see the world letting go of summer so easily. The trees don't struggle to hold on to yellowed leaves, dried flower heads readily let their seeds fall to the ground without worry of what may become of them. Why is it so hard for us humans to let go of things? Belongings, non nurturing relationships, ideas or beliefs which hold us back from growth. Why are we afraid to let things die?
It is comforting to me that all of nature lets go of a seasons worth of growth, life, and energy in a graceful period we call autumn. The transition between growth, and death. The giving back to the earth from which all things came. It's part of the gifting cycle, to recieve from the earth, food, water, nurturing, and then die and give it back in the form of organic matter, compost, and seed, for the future seasons of growth. Letting go of one seasons fruits, allows for the following seasons growth and fruit. To hold on to things stops the cycle of gifting, if the trees held onto their leaves each year, the soil wouldn't grow, in which the seeds grow. If flowers didn't let seeds fall or fly on the wind far from home, flowers would not grow next spring.

As I walked I wondered how can I let go of things to allow for new growth in the coming seasons. What do I need to let die? What belongingscan I let go of to allow for new experience in the future? What can I give back from what I've recieved this year as part of the gifting cycle?

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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~