I love the feeling that September brings; a whisper of woodsmoke curls through the air, the earth smells woodier, deeper, darker and richer. The trees and plants all around are producing seeds, berries and nuts with the hope that they will produce next years new growth, saplings and life after the dark winter that is to come.
Some trees are ablaze with blood red berries, Elder trees and bramble hedgerows are filled with shiny black witchy adornments, apple trees are bending under the weight of their fruitfulness and nuts and acorns are beginning to fall.
This is a time when the spiders become more visible, their webs glistening in the morning dew, mushrooms are sprouting out almost toad like from the roots of trees, dead wood and dark earth.
Kitchens are filled with the smells of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Apple rings are drying on the hearth and herbs from spring and summer hang in clumps about the house.
Autumn is bringing all of us animals and the earth, food and medicine that will be much needed for those dark nights. Food and medicine that will strengthen the blood, build up the immune system, support the gut and enliven the spirit.
The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer and it is time to prepare for the long winter ahead. Plants are putting their energy into their roots after their seeds have been cast into the wind, onto the earth or carried away by badgers, foxes and birds. The trees are giving birth to new life, nourishing animals and insects and shedding their leaves.
Autumn to me is a dance of birth and death, grief and gratitude, joy and loss. I see these two as women walking hand in hand through the forest, the fields and meadows both touching everything they meet.
As animals on this earth we too are going through a seasonal shift. I too feel the urge to shed what no longer serves me, what may be holding me back from stepping onto a slightly different path. I want to gather and horde wild food and medicine and ready myself for the cold and dark ahead, knowing that within all dark there is light to come and within all death is a birth.
The wheel keeps turning and the cycle of life goes on. It is a reminder to me of the beauty in life, the light that is always within the dark, the gratitude that comes through grief, and the doors that open after one is closed. It also reminds me of what fruitful intentions I would like to start to plant that can grow next year, but what do I need to let go of in order for those things to have room to breathe? What no longer serves me that is blocking new growth? What do I need to shed emotionally in order to go deep into the dark of winter and be happy with my own company, ready to come out of the hibernation and into spring fresh and new, tender, alive and ready.