Thursday of last week was the Autumnal Equinox. The Equinoxes are times of balance. I remember how excited I was when I was told that on the Equinoxes you could balance an egg on end. A couple years later, I learned you can probably always do that as long as you do it carefully, but I thought it was such an apt metaphor. You move from Summer and fall off the edge into Autumn.
Autumn is the season of the celebration of the Great Harvest. Canada is much closer to nature than the US as they hold their Thanksgiving on October 10. Up North, they’ll be pulling the pumpkins out of the fields by then, all ready to be baked into pies. Luckily for us in the US, the pumpkins store well!
This is a season of sorting — what can be used now, what can be saved, what should go back to the ground, and what can be shared out among our neighbors. It’s a time of making amends for our short-comings during the year. It’s a time of forgiving others who also came up short. And it is a time of giving thanks for all that has enriched our lives.
What gives us sustenance? What gives us Joy? What can we share with the world? How have we fallen short in sharing, or celebrating, or acknowledging another’s humanity.
These are big questions. Asking these questions brings us a deeper understanding of real scope of a year and what its different seasons can mean to us. Not following the eight turnings of the year, most of us have no idea that there are responsibilities that fit the changing seasons. I love following the agricultural calendar for that reason. It’s so important in all of our interactions in the world to ask not only our first question, which is generally what do I get from this, but also our second — what is my responsibility?
Peace is always about responsibility.
Peace is breathing out and breathing in, a receiving and a responding. On this equinox, we gather all these beautiful summer days into our memories and let their bounty spill over into the changing, colorful season.
How do we do that for ourselves, and at the same time make room for others? How do we balance our needs and desires with the needs of others? How do we take not just what is ours but not more than what we need in order to fulfill our responsibilities of caring for others? Finally, for our own health and well-being, how do we balance our lives, loves, and work around the balancing of the seasons and the daylight within which we have to work?
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.