Dear soft autumn,
You are just around the corner. I can feel you in the air. And in my bones. My soul is settling in. My breath is slowing + deepening. And, as each day passes, I ready myself for the slow, sweet descent into your darkness.
Even if I cannot fully see your golden, red, orange, and brown in all its glory, I see hints. I notice subtle changes on the tips and edges of nature. I rise now before the sun does. And she sets close to dinnertime. And, for the first time tonight, I caught a glimpse of the waxing moon, golden + bright, and hanging low in the sky. The way autumn moons should be.
I want to prepare for you, sweet, soft autumn. I want to ease into the season naturally, intentionally, and ready to sink down into the most introverted time of the year. For you are the perfect companion for my contemplative soul. And, though you bring about the intense, uncomfortable themes of surrender, release, and death, you are also the gateway to hope and rebirth. Because without the season of darkness, there would be no season of light.
Yes, you are a mystery, sweet autumn. And to fully embrace + feel you, I have to venture out in order to venture in. And I have to venture in in order to venture out.
So, this past Sunday, with family in tow, I headed out into a dark, magical Swedish forest. As we walked the path through the trees, I turned to often wander off the path + hide myself deep within the greens and browns of the earth.
Soft autumn, you had not arrived to this forest quite yet. And, when you do, you will not take over with you earthy, vibrant colors. You will share the space with the evergreens. Something that I have promised myself to return + see in a month’s time.
But, even as I walked among the shades of green trees + shrubs + grasses + plants + mosses the other day, your autumn mushrooms greeted me with almost every step. The last berries had already turned dark red. And your autumn wind rustled through the leaves.
It was a beautiful mid-September day. A pre-autumn day. One in which it was easy to feel the shifts in the seasons + the energy of the forest. And while, soft autumn, you were just barely beginning to make yourself known; I am certain that I caught a whiff of your scent in the crisp air warmed by the sun.
And with that simple Sunday afternoon walk in the forest, soft autumn, I opened my arms, I prepared my heart, and I alerted my soul that it was time to welcome you back.
I welcome you, sweet, soft autumn. You, the season of quiet, cozy mystery + magic. You, the season of darkness, muted colors, warm clothes, hot drinks, comfort food, candles + fires, and walks in the crunchy leaves. You, the season of dark morning skies with bright morning stars + planets. You, the season of release. Of letting go. Of surrendering to the death of this year, the passing of time, and the leaving behind the old ways that we have outgrown.
You, sweet, soft autumn, the season of descending into our souls like wanderers in the forest, of believing in the magic of the earth, of sinking into the ancient wisdom of the trees + of trusting in our internal intuition to guide us through the season.
Dear soft autumn, I am ready. Ready to encounter, observe, celebrate, honor, and worship your arrival this weekend. Ready with rituals, ideas, music, prayers, and celebrations. And, most magically, I am ready to greet you by stepping away from my everyday life + travelling on a weekend retreat with my wife in a small, nature-loving, mountain town in mid-northern Sweden.
For the next two days, though, before I leave for my retreat + before you arrive on Mabon (the autumn equinox), I will quietly, patiently wait. And breathe. And soak up these last few preparation moments with the energy of the deep forest still swirling around me.
Welcome back, my dear autumn.