The autumnal equinox passed, and still the brutal ninety-degree plus temperatures, which started in May, had not relented. Even at night it didn’t cool down; the air was weighted with almost enough moisture to rain. The weariness of this oppression could be seen in the faces of nearly everyone. The harvest from my garden through the summer was meager as the plants exhausted themselves struggling just to stay alive.
Still, in the midst of the heat, the rhythm of things shifted ever so slightly, almost imperceptibly, and my subconscious mind sensed the subtle messages that it was autumn. Tiny glimpses of color, mostly in a warm palette, began to peak through. The sun traveled to its proper place in the sky for this time of year, bringing nearly equal days and nights. Crickets began their mating calls in the simmering air, whose sound was normally a herald of the cooler weather. The hummingbirds showed themselves less and less as their internal clock began to call them to their winter homes.
What my body experienced and what my mind sensed were complete opposites. The incongruence left me feeling off center, as my mind tried to reconcile the conflicting messages about what time of year it was. But, no amount of wanting could break the oppressive heat and bring the cool crispness of fall. The world and I could not escape the gripe of summer.
Then, the day after the equilux, the cool air came, blowing in from the north with a light misty rain. From one day to the next, the temperature plunged a full thirty degrees, bringing relief at last. It was as if everything suddenly came back into focus.
It occurred to me that life is often like that. While normally life flows from one season to the next, sometimes we feel stuck. We can’t seem to move forward, or shake off the indefinable feeling weighing us down. It is often accompanied by that vague feeling of disharmony that we can’t quite put our finger on. If we pay attention though, and listen with our souls, we will perceive the quiet signs; the next season is coming.
Perhaps the very incongruence that makes us feel so uncomfortable is something to be embraced, because it is actually a clear sign that change is happening. That feeling of disharmony can help us remember that the seasons are unstoppable. Each season will eventually come to its end, and will lead into the next.
Instead of wrestling with the tension we feel, we can stop and reflect on what the mixed messages are. We can try to put words (or other creative endeavors) to those perceptions. We can ponder on what the seasons are that we are caught in between. We can dig down deep and get to the roots of what we are sensing.
Then, if we discover any revelations in that process, we can understand a bit of the mystery of where we are. We can find a place of rest in those situations that we don’t have any control over, which is most often the case. For other situations, we may come to see where we might even need to take action – action that may be either passive or dynamic. Some situations may call for patience and acceptance, while other situations may call for us to go into battle. (Most will land somewhere in the middle.)
On the other hand, even if we pause and try to consider where we are, we may still not be able to make any sense of what we perceive. Maybe we can only see the dichotomy. In that case, we can still hang on to the truths that we do know. That the earth will still keep traveling around the sun. That the seasons will always eventually change. That this feeling of incongruence actually means that things are changing, things are moving forward.
Wherever you are, remember that things will truly align again. The cool air will replace the heat. The leaves will reveal the color underneath their verdant mask. The earth will sigh and begin preparing itself for the rest that comes with winter. Autumn will come, and with it a whole new season.
© 2016 Joni McKeown (ARCHÉOLOGIE)