The Autumn Equinox marks two important milestones in the Wheel of the Year. It is the end of harvest and the balance between light and dark – equal day and night.
It is a time of celebration as we give thanks for all that we have grown and reaped this year. We give one last push to bring in the last of the harvest from our fruit and veg, whether that is in our gardens, foraging the hedgerow or the farmers bringing in the last of the grains. As gardeners we might reflect on what grew well this year and what changes we make for next year, we might also start planning our growing for next year, nuturing small plants in a greenhouse over the winter.
It’s also a busy time making and preserving to keep the fruit and vegetables edible over the winter – chutneys and jams, cakes and stewed fruit. I find there is never enough time in the day for all the making I want to do with the wonderful things we grow or forage.
The inner work
But ‘grown and reaped’ is not only about produce but about our own development too. What have we learned? How have we grown? What goals have we achieved? A time to reflect, to put in the last bit of effort to reach our goals, to finish things off and tie up loose ends.
The end of September also marks the end of summer as the sun retreats, the days are noticably shorter and cooler. The earth pulls in on itself and all growth stops, sap returns to the roots and the leaves begin to turn. This gives us a chance to reflect on the opposite forces in our lives – celebrate the successes but also clear out the things that haven’t been so successful. Learning from them then letting them go either physically or emotionally, letting go of things that are no longer relevant in your life. Enjoying the gifts and clearing away the unwanted!
So take time this Autumn Equinox to celebrate and express gratitude for everything you have received and learned in this growing cycle. And balance this with a reflective and considered clearing away of the old growth and incomplete projects. Then be ready to rest over the winter ready to pick up again or start new projects next year.