Welcoming Autumn with Our ChildrenBy Sylvia Poareo
September 22, 2012
Here is an example of how to mark the seasonal transitions in our life which help us connect within and nurture ourselves and our family.
A day early, my dear friend Erin and I took our children to the beach to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. Over the years we have come together as kindred spirits in our love of nature and the rhythms it helps us keep in life and our hearts.
So after much delighted wave diving and frolicking, I gathered a few of our littles, mentioned briefly that the equinox reminds us to have balance in our lives, and suggested we come up with a ritual for the day. (In our fast moving life, rituals help us to integrate transitions and their wisdom on a subconscious level.)
Each child came up with various ideas which emerged into “let’s make a big circle we can stand in” ”Here is some seaweed, oh and there is more!” and they were off….
My daughter and Erin’s youngest, taking the lead, carefully gathering seaweed, building the beginnings of a circle. Then the others emerge from one last dip in the water with giant bundles of deliciously fresh, wet and golden cords of seaweed…and it becomes a group effort. With the circle in place, we build little sand hills marking the four directions and the elements they represent:
Feathers to represent the direction: EAST and the AIR that gives us breath, life…
Seashells collected around and under the clear emerald water represented WEST and the WATER that sustains, cleanses and soothes us… (something very alive for us in this perfect day at the beach)
More creativity, as Maya makes “Rocks” out of sand to represent NORTH and the magnificent EARTH that grounds and supports us….
We gather in the circle and sing a native welcoming song that our children are familiar with. Of course, some begin to dance….
Then we stand together for a few brief moments, ‘balancing’ in whatever poses feel right and of course, fun. I find it much harder to balance with a baby in my arms (both literally and figuratively, I am reminded). And though very brief, it is enough for me to feel the visceral ‘reset’ that ritual offers…
As solemn as I may try to be, the children always remind me to be light, to play, to get the message and move on….
These few moments of being intentional are still sifting around in my awareness….balance, balance…so elusive at times
Yet, my little (momentarily) peaceful guru, reminds me to keep it simple and accept that it will playfully ebb and flow, like all else in this conscious mothering path.
Later in the evening, sitting outside with ‘daddy’ and my littles, watching the fuchsia laced rays of the sun’s setting, we talked about how our days will now become shorter, our nights longer. I invited us all to share (briefly, kid style, again) and reflect on ways we might begin to consciously shine and nurture our lights…
“read stories, write stories, play music, make pictures, make desserts (raw creations) and dance!”
Honoring these seasonal markers offer so much richness to our life, reconnecting us to the truth that we are held in miraculous ways both large and small.
There is the large reminder that the Earth follows precise, unerring rhythms that inspire awe and humility….and a “smaller” or more personal reminder, that these magnificent rhythms invite us into a fuller embrace of ourselves; the passions, gifts and beauty that we can share with each other and the planet, as each season unfolds.
Blessed Autumn Equinox to all!
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Do you play enough? Do you have creative time? Do you have enough fun? Do you have enough laughter in your life? Do you get enough rest? Do you get done the things you need to get done? Today, focus on creating balance in your life between work and play, between doing and being, between time with others and time alone.
By Dr. Margaret Paul