Sacred Journeys – October 2016
Autumn is an interesting time of year. Many of us will gather around tables giving thanks for the bountiful food that has come in from our gardens or farms and is now preserved in mason jars or in the freezer. It is also a time to acknowledge what life has brought to us in other ways during the spring and summer, the moments, the insights, and all the opportunities that grew corn this year.
Last night, I had a beautiful time with friends. As we took turns placing single kernels of this year’s corn into a bowl (already full of corn kernels), we voiced our thanks for moments of growth and insight that nurtured us or that we deliberately planted and set into motion this year.
Autumnal equinox is a time of balance as we stand with one foot in the warmth of summer, and another in the cool nights and changing leaves. While feeling the loss of summer, most of us are also hardwired to feel a sense of new possibilities, since September has always called us to new classes at school ever since we were kids. For me, because my birthday is in the fall, it has always been a season I loved.
This fall I had a ‘big’ birthday, and found myself being celebrated in beautiful and unexpected ways. I thought I would just indulge myself by ordering all of the seasons of my two favourite British detective series – thinking that would be enough (and that would be it). In part, for me, it is tough being the centre of attention. Friends knew this, and at a dinner gathering I was asked to sit in front of a mirror. Each of them gathered closely and looked at me in the mirror, then took turns telling me why they loved me. Not one or two comments but one for every year I had been alive. Imagine that! I was undone, fully melted, with a Cheshire grin for days. I highly recommend this as a new birthday tradition for each of us.
A second lovely gathering idea came about at a friend’s farm, where we were using my birthday as an excuse to have a reunion of university friends. After a tequila or two, I decided that we should lie under the stars and be the candles on a birthday cake. The idea was that each of us was to make a wish for the world, or for ourselves, and send it up into the heavens while the rest of us, like midwives, imagined each wish coming true. I also think that should be a new tradition. It was fun. Not everyone was convinced they would come true, but in the morning a few of us did it again under a willow tree, because we knew they all could come true. We said each one with eyes closed, sending them off a second time with grace.
Sharing our visions of a new way to be in the world is a good way to use our energy and imagination right now. Michael Moore’s most recent film, Where to Invade Next, is on Netflix, and it is very inspiring. He travels around invading countries armed with a U.S. flag, stealing the best ideas for the U.S. In the movie, as Moore enters Europe it becomes apparent just how far behind Canadians are in comparison. For example, it is worth watching just to see what nutritious foods are served to children in France’s schools. Another inspiring country is Iceland, a country where the bankers were arrested for fraud, while women ran the only non-fraudulent bank and now hold 60% of government seats. Their economy has recovered and it is based on caring for each other, not competing – and it works!
To me, the energy feels very intense this season as we watch our U.S. neighbour’s election and feel the economic tension in the world, sensing that something big is about to happen. At the same time, we have been bathing in such beautiful transformative energy these days. It has asked us to go deep inside a mist-filled cocoon, inviting us into a new version of ourselves. Life is moving quickly, but I feel like I am standing still while I give myself time for my atoms to rearrange themselves. A friend said he feels like he is standing still in a rushing river. I think that is a good place to be. Somehow being aware of all that is taking place, yet feeling ‘still’ inside, seems a balanced and powerful stance for the world right now.
I offer the words below for this season of thanksgiving, for all that we have achieved, received, and shared.
We give thanks.
From deep in our bones,
With the joy of our expansive hearts,
As the grateful children of the earth,
And as the light of creator,
We give thanks.
We give thanks for the abundance that’s been shared with us this year, this lifetime, and at this feast now.
Blessed is this food, and this beautiful world which brought it to us.
As we fill our bellies, may this nourishing energy go out to those who have little or nothing to eat, be they human or animal, and so we send this feeling of fullness and warmth into their bellies and hearts.
Together we call into being a world in balance where all can share equally in the bountiful gifts of the earth.
We give thanks.
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