By Donna D’Cruz
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.’ —Emily Brontë
Somehow, Emily Brontë’s pensive lament about autumn seems entirely appropriate this year. Not so much the delight she takes in fluttering leaves, but the wish some of us have had lately to “Lengthen night and shorten day.” Being of a literal frame of mind, I’ve chosen to see this as a simple wish to sleep better, to get through the day holding mind, body and soul together in the face of what seems like Sisyphean odds. It’s my intention to find a way through the pervading gloom and doom, and what a task that’s turning out to be! Here are my fall spirit hacks:
- Breathe deeply.
- Eat well, happily and locally, as much as possible.
- Boost your immune system.
- Exercise with joy.
- Work with excitement.
- Love with compassion.
- Dance with abandon.
- Create wildly.
- Let go of all dissonance.
- Breathe deeply.
This year, it’s hard to wax poetic about autumn’s pleasures and glories. The delicate crunch of leaves beneath my feet, the evanescent spectrum of autumn colors, are in some danger this year of going unappreciated. Ditto the lesser pleasures this season offers. I want to channel Keatsian glories, and also have space to appreciate the melancholic strains of Emily Brontë’s requiem to summer.
I know what I can be doing to help myself and in turn, help others. Feel free to shout out my fall mantras—reset; let go and release; allow space to restore, create and dream. Press the reset button—in health, outlook, in how we eat, with whom we share and eat with. I invite you to learn more about Sankalpa, a Vedic philosophy merging intent with will, to focus energies during the treacherous times of COVID.
We should practice common sense, courteous mindfulness by continuing to do the essentials like wearing a mask, washing our hands rather more often than Pontius Pilate, and observing the requisite distance when appropriate—even when it gets tedious.
We should endeavor to align our beings with the season by hunkering down some more (I know, I know. The past six months have seen us hunkering down a little too much).
Should we, like Elijah, be “girding up our loins” (i.e., preparing for battle) for the uncertainty and turmoil that may befall us in the months to come?
Fall offers a potent invitation to shed layers of the past—past stories, past sorrows, frustrations and anger, and be courageous enough to let go of all that doesn’t or hasn’t served us well. It takes great courage, embracing your intellect and good ol’ fashioned grit to do deeper, inner personal “work” and look at issues with family, with friends, work stuff, projects, anyone or any situation that lowers our vibration (this is a real thing) and get aligned in a more resonant way. “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere,” said Voltaire.
The fields lie fallow in winter—and what do we live for then, but the certainty and promise of spring and all its divine blessings. Stay well. Stay safe. Stay strong. donnadcruz.com