Last week I awoke to a grey, drizzly morning. This marks a vast change from the hot and humid summer days of late, the air is- at least for a moment yesterday- finally, blessedly, cool and refreshing. My soul is rejoicing!
Our next gathering will mark the beginning of Autumn!
Ahhh, fall! Cool hazy mornings and golden, sparkling afternoons…brilliant jewel colors… rich, sharp, and earthy scents like spicy cinnamon bark, nutmeg, pine, apples, pumpkin-everything, and the sweetness of hay and mouldering leaves…fiery embers crackle in freshly swept hearths, flames of candles glow and dance …gusty days scatter leaves like flocks of skittish birds…we cocoon ourselves in plaid blankets, snuggly sweaters (wink, wink, Cozy Rosie!) and soft billowy scarves…we sip nutrient dense soups, stews, teas, ciders and engage in comforting rituals and traditions.
The equinox marks the return to balance between light and dark. Even as we begin to turn inward, we create holdfasts that anchor us in community: gatherings of friends and family that include ancestors on the other side of the now translucent veil that separates life and death. And we are grateful for this most sacred and introspective time.
Fall is a season of preparation before winding down. The earth is drawing us nearer to it, readying us for the season of silence and rest to follow. It is a season of settling into an ancient rhythm as we welcome the beginning of the Year of the Wheel.
For us, fall is the time for harvesting ripe berries and fruits, nuts, roots, and bark. We gather, store and nourish our bodies with the Earth’s bounty. Autumn is the time of eating seeds, a most complete food! That holds within it, and us, the promised return of Spring. This promise helps us be able to let go, just as the wind detaches seed from stem, and trust in the process and changes before us.
We prepare, preserve and stock our home apothecaries with herbs, foods and remedies that will support our health during the vulnerable fluxuations of warmth and chill, and our waxing and waning energies that mark the changing seasons.
Cultivating radical self-care and compassion becomes necessary for our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Self care lays the foundation or our innerwork to be most meaningful and transformative during the awaiting dream time.
This Fall Botanical Primer is all about focusing on health and well-being through our connection to the natural world and our place in it. We remember and acknowledge owu own rootedness to the land and seek deeper relationships with the plants that grow right where we live. In fall, we focus on plants that can help us build strong immune health and resiliency so we will be prepared for the winter months ahead!
Did you know that a major part of our immune system resides in our digestive tract? Our digestive tract is also intricately linked to our nervous system and plays a huge role in mental health! This is why autumn, the time of waning light, is such an important time to be thinking about ways we can ensure a properly populated and functioning gut microbiota! The great news is that it is the very foods that are seasonally available are the ones that can help us do that. Polysaccharide rich roots, berries and fruits bursting with antioxidants and nuts/seeds full of healthy fats are key to building good health in the colder months! Nature has the answers!