Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons always come back to where they were. The life of a human being is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.
~~~Black Elk, 20th-Century Oglala Sioux
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I used to be a devout Autumn worshiper. I’ve always been a person that goes and goes and goes. But when Autumn would roll around, that going seemed to center more on at-home activities and tasks rather than being overly involved in our church community and extended family get-togethers. For me, Autumn has always felt like a time of surrender when I can ease up a little bit and just enjoy nature around me as it begins its change.
Emotionally I’d say each year I began my change then, too. While I felt more laid-back, there was a certain trepidation that usually accompanied Autumn. The reality is I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my favorite season all my life. I’ve always had this strange inclination that I wouldn’t survive the winter. (I know! Morbid, huh?) Don’t know where it came from, but it’s haunted me for years and years.
But this past year when I’ve had to really slow down, I’ve begun to better understand that I’m being sort of presumptuous when I allow myself to dwell in that place. This year I’ve started to realize that may be because I see life as more of a horizontal journey than a circle. For me, a horizontal journey has a beginning and an ending. A circle journey, on the other hand, goes on and on — the circle of life. The Celts call it “the great round.” And like those who work the land, whose livelihood prospers or withers by the seasons, it’s a time of transformation, whether for good or ill.
So my ponderings this Autumn season have been on how the internal seasons of my life reflect the external seasons of the earth. I think I’ve been missing the point. I need to stop seeing Autumn and Winter as times of giving up, surrendering. I need to see them as a time of “getting ready for the next season of my life to happen — whatever that may bring.” Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter may appear to be opposites, but the same life force runs through them all. That life force, I’m discovering, is a holistic journey where our inner life and the seasons run parallel. And I obviously need to pay closer attention!
But no two persons’ journeys are the same. What about you? Do you have a sense of connection with the transforming power of the earth’s seasons?