Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumn Comforts...

My most favourite time of year is the fall. It's the time when I feel most grateful and most grounded. A time when the rhythms of nature lead me away from all that drains my energy and remind me of all that sustains and nourishes me.

In her now-classic, The Woman's Comfort Journal, Jennifer Louden offers some comfort ideas for those who can't remember the last time they smelled fresh air or felt the rain (well, this IS Vancouver) on their faces:

1. Run through a tall corn field.

2. Let the wind push you down the sidewalk.

3. Fly a kite.

4. Take a hayride.

5. Collect fall leaves.

6. Make it a fall ritual to travel somewhere, even if it is only a few miles, to see leaves changing.

7. Cook s'mores over an open fire.

8. Walk briskly and sniff the fall air.

9. Pop corn.

10. Dress up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating with children. Or put on a haunted house for adults only.

Some other ideas that come to mind are:

1. Rake huge piles of leaves and jump in them.

2. Buy fresh root vegetables at the last of the farmers markets and take them home to make and freeze big pots of soup. (Great nutritious and economical on-the-go meals!)

3. Bake luscious loaves of whole grain bread - and eat a slice or two warm with a little butter.

4. Stop and really look at the shape, veins and colours of a changing leaf.

5. Tidy the garden and put the bulbs to bed. (As you dig, breathe deeply of the humus that speaks both of decay and new birth).

6. Come in from the garden, cold, stiff and rosy-cheeked, to curl up by the fire with a favourite book, soothing music and a steaming cup of tea.

7. Have a Thanksgiving potluck dinner with family, friends and perhaps a stranger or two. (It's past Thanksgiving, you say? Who's to say we can't have a "thanksgiving" meal every month?)

8. Buy new purple mittens, a yellow umbrella or shiny red gumboots and wear them.

9. Learn a new creative art - knitting, carving, weaving, potting, painting, singing...

10. Collect horse chestnuts and enjoy their deep, warm, browns and their smooth, shiny skins. Consider using one, held in your hand, as a focus for your meditation/contemplation practice.

11. Go to the beach and watch the waves spray the shore.

12. Take off your hat and feel the wind in your hair.

13. Watch for the next time a storm is brewing and the sky turns indigo, the sunlight deepens to gold and a rainbow arcs across the heavens. Then make a wish.

14. Stamp in a puddle.

15. Trace the ice swirls on an old window or a frozen puddle.

16. Watch and listen to the skeins of geese heading south for the winter.

So many possibilities if we'll only stop to notice and enjoy.

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