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For those who live where there are distinct seasonal changes, autumn can be a bittersweet time of year. The colorful leaves are beautiful, but they soon fall away as the hours of daylight diminish. While this can trigger feelings of loss and sadness, it can also inspire us to participate in nature’s process of change and renewal.
Autumn is the perfect time of year to take stock of what has transpired over the past ten or eleven months. We can express gratitude for what we have and take an honest look at our track record through the past three seasons.
If we have accomplished what we hoped to—whether it is finishing college, being a loving parent, or vacuuming more often—we need to acknowledge that. If our lives are not where we want them to be, it is time to reexamine our goals or consider alternate strategies. If it has been a difficult year, we can celebrate the courage and perseverance we exercised to keep going day after day.
Autumn leaves falling away remind us to let go of what no longer serves us. As the earlier sunsets push us indoors, we have some time to sort through our cupboards, closets, drawers, papers, bookshelves, and computer files. We can delete, toss, or giveaway things that are cluttering our lives. It is amazing how much lighter people feel on the inside when they get rid of what is outdated, unused, or unnecessary on the outside.
Long autumn evenings are also a great time to organize those items we need to—or want to—keep. Organizing and filing important papers now, if we haven’t kept up with it the past few months, allows us to start the coming new year with less stress and more confidence.
We may have a box (or boxes) full of photos that others might enjoy if they were placed in an album. If living where winter blows cold, autumn is a choice time to clean out and organize both the car and garage. Anything straightened out in the fall, whether the entire basement or an underwear drawer, allows us to better appreciate the stillness and renewal of the coming winter season.
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