The dark season surrounds me this year. Or, rather, I am consciously dropping into it. But, it is also spilling out into my life. However difficult, though, it feels right to let go and sink down.
I always long for this time of the year. It feels so “me”. And, yet, this year, I feel that I don’t need this time of the year to roll around in order to feel like myself. My contemplative, seasonal way of living has created a sense of slowness and unfolding all year long. In other words, I don’t need the dark season to give me an excuse to turn inwards. That is simply how I live all of my days. But, more than that, this slow way of living in rhythm with the seasons gives me a deeper, more authentic , and grounded way of experiencing life – if I choose to really drop down.
However, the dark seasons of autumn + winter still have very special energies. And, this year, as I drop into autumn, I am experiencing that autumn energy in a much deeper way. Honestly, I hope that each year I find new meaning, new energy, new inspiration, and new depths in each season. As the years pass, I hope that the ways that the season speaks to me always gives me new insights as I find ways to align my outer life with my inner life. I hope to always intentionally + intuitively mark the passing of the month + the celebrate the seasons with a deep connection to what’s happening in life.
For that is where the magic is.
It’s not just about celebrating festivals, holidays, and watching the seasons. The magic comes when I allow my life to fold into the season, and when I allow the season to spill over into my life.
To do that, I must not just observe the seasons as they pass. I must also practice presence. And, to me, that means creating rituals, taking time to reflect, making art through photography, and documenting my life.
Since the autumn equinox, I have been very mindful of the power of rituals in ordinary life. When I speak of rituals, I mean simple things like lighting candles, morning routines, my nighttime facial cleanse, cooking dinner in the evenings, starting up my computer at work each day, lunchtime walks, phone calls with my parents, tv evenings with my love, weekly yoga classes, long talks at our neighborhood bar, watching the leaves turn, following the phases of the moon, journal writing, taking in a breathe of fresh air first thing each morning. Simple things. Very simple things that bring a sense of magic + grounding to my everyday life.
It is these simple, everyday rituals that remind me of the energy of this season. Watching the season, seeing the changes, feeling the air shift… it all reminds me that this is the time to release, let go, and surrender. It is time to begin to settle into the dark season. To anticipate the long dark days that are ahead. To prepare for a sense of emptiness, deep rest, and hidden magic.
Most of the month that has passed since my last post has been filled with ordinary, regular days that I have intentionally filled with those simple rituals I mentioned above. Ways to embrace + be aware of the dark season.
However, life also has given my love + I an unwanted, unwelcome, unexpected, very real ending. A literal dark season.
Since late autumn 2019, we have been working on building a family. We’ve been through an investigative process to be approved to become parents, countless treatments + tries, a pregnancy that ended at 16 weeks, grief, frustration, anger, disappointment, hope, exhaustion, physical + emotional pain. We’ve spent money on treatments + hormones + travel for 2 and a half years. We’ve discussed possibilities, thoughts, feelings, and ideas with doctors, specialists, midwives, therapists, friends, parents, and most importantly, with each other.
However, the time has now come. Without knowing or realizing that it would come right now, this past week we arrived the end of this process. And, with devastated hearts, we must let go, release, and drop into a different life than we had wished. We must surrender to this ending. We must drop into the dark season and experience this time of unknown silence, despair, loss, and rest.
The dark season calls to me in a whole different way this year. In a much more real way. And, yet, I am comforted by the fact that my life is in deep, genuine alignment with this dark season. I feel supported + held by the earth right now. I turn to my brothers + sisters in nature, the animals, the trees, the sun, the moon. They remind me that endings are part of it all. That with each ending, there is also a beginning. But, in between, there is a chance to pause, to rest, to let a new seed take root, to get quiet + listen, to reset.
Autumn is the transitional, active time of release, of letting go and dropping down into the dark season. Before we know it, though, winter will be here. And with the coming of winter, comes the silent, gentle season of darkness + waiting.
For now, though, I drop into the grief + loss of the dark season of autumn. But I do it with a sense of hope. With a knowledge of the cycles of the seasons and a deep trust in the unfolding of life. Endings are meant to be marked, remembered, noticed, and felt. So, as I go through these autumn days, I’ll stay connected to my simple rituals, feel all the feels, rest with my love, and gather with those who inspire + hold me. I’ll fully experience the dark season.
And, I will also prepare for winter’s rest and reset. For, the seasons continue to shift with every day. Nature unfolds slowly. And, just like the earth, I flow through the seasons of my life as well.
Here’s to ever present cycle of descent, rest, rebirth, and life. With everything that ends, comes the promise of something new. For now, though, the darkness holds me. xoxo. liz.