Every culture has its own Harvest celebration. It's a time honored tradition of gathering that which will sustain us during the long night of winter to come. It is a tradition born of our instincts and the need for survival. It comes from a strong connection to the Earth and her rhythmic seasons.
Each season brings with it a blessing. Both in the physical world, where our personal and worldly structures are tended to, and also the unseen world, the realm of our hearts and minds.
As summer began to burn itself out, I felt a tension building within that continued to grow, finally breaking a few days after the Equinox- a time of perfect balance. The Equinox is a celestial event happening only twice a year where north and south hemispheres receive equal amounts of light and equal hours of light and dark each. It marks the waning of summer and beginning of autumn. As these forces moved closer and closer to perfect balance, why then was I feeling tension instead of harmony?
Summer, ruled by the element of fire, pushes us to become more active and engaged with ourselves and the world around us encouraging that which is dormant to grow both within and without. The energy of Fire brings us to understanding our own courage and strength, empowering us to find ways to manifest our desires. And Autumn, ruled by water, whose reflective and cooling properties invite a pensiveness and sensitivity. The transition from Summer to Autumn sees the skies open as the rains come to wash away and cool the fires. It brings reflection and the promise of the mystery of our own depths.
Feeling the opposition of these two forces, I came to understand that balance is not that fleeting moment where two forces are equal. Rather, it’s the harmony of the entire spectrum. We could not have one without the other and we need both to survive. That moment of balance, in truth, is more of a tipping point.
As we reap our own emotional harvest whose growth has been fueled by the fires in our hearts and minds, we leave the ground bare and empty. Ready to be nurtured and tended. Allowed to rest and "winter" as the grounds freeze and we are given the opportunity to reflect and digest what it was we harvested. As the waters of autumn fall from the sky to sooth and cleanse our inner landscapes, we are gently reminded how to seek solace within ourselves allowing kindness in the stillness of reflection.
We may find surprises that have risen in our garden. Seeds we did not ourselves sew yet the wind swept them to our gardens nonetheless. Perhaps they have come as a blessing. Perhaps they have come as our medicine. For this we also offer gratitude.