How to Make Peace with Autumn

Autumn is often viewed as a bitter sting after our fun loving friend Summer has gone. But that doesn’t need to be the case. Each season has it’s own unique energy, and humans are connected to that energy too. After the frenetic intensity of summer, where we’ve thrown caution to the wind, stayed up too late, and gallivanted around, we are ready for some stability.

Autumn is a call to return to rhythm and routine. It’s back to school, back to schedules, and also, a time of new beginnings. Autumn isn’t a downward spiral, it’s more of an inward journey.

We can step back, refocus, and begin to shed that which won’t serve us in the coming months. We can take a cue from nature, who showcases one last, beautiful spectacle of colour, and then, so simply, let’s it all go one leaf at a time. The trees stand stoic, getting ready for their winter slumber, without a single complaint.

Autumn is also a time of abundance and celebration where we reap the benefits of the harvest, gather in thanks with our family and friends, and make preparations for winter.

There is a quality to the light of Autumn,which poet Max Eastman describes, as “So bright and soft and tranquil-rendering…” I love that light. Especially when it falls on the face of loved ones.

So instead of cringing when we see a fallen leaf, we can instead begin to store, not just the harvest, but all of the joy, warmth and colour of autumn, for our (temporary) darker days ahead.

Why we need to Drink in the Loveliness

We aren’t just here to work and pay bills and rush around. As humans, we have the luxury to witness and marvel at the earth on which we find ourselves. We can all take that breath every now and then and fully drink in the loveliness.

Spring is such a universal time for people to awaken to the natural beauty of the earth. Though there isn’t a lot of evidence that things will get better (because it’s mostly just muddy) there is something that ignites hope, and the promise of renewal when that first Robin appears.

While I am waiting for my garden to bloom, I bought myself (for the first time ever) a bouquet of flowers for no reason whatsoever. They are bringing me so much joy every time I walk past them, and there is a subtle aroma permeating my living room.

I am of the mind that, rather than waiting for “big” things to make us happy, we can enjoy an abundance of little pleasures sprinkled all through our lives.

That morning cup of coffee, sipped slowly. Savouring a good book. Watching the moon, the clouds, the sunrise. Listening to our loved ones. Feeling grass with our barefeet. All the loveliness that is constantly surrounding us and requires only our observation. Most of the loveliness in the world is free, and can be found anywhere in nature. Anyone can, at anytime, tap in to an unlimited bank account of beauty just by stepping outside.

We aren’t just here to work and pay bills and rush around. As humans, we have the luxury to witness and marvel at the earth on which we find ourselves. We can all take that breath every now and then and fully drink in the loveliness.

What is a Thriving Home?

I don’t think a family can ever be perfect. But I do think that in the midst of the chaos that is inevitably life, we can establish a set of values that guides our actions, helps us navigate the sometimes rough waters, and steers us back to the equilibrium that we deserve.

If I had to pick one thing, one idea, that could change the world, it would be family.  If we could figure out on a small scale how to consistently be good to each other and for each other, and then bring that love outward into the world, great things could happen. 

When I look at my children, and witness who they are and who they might one day become, I am filled with an over-whelming urge to be a better person. Their goodness, purity, and wonder has that effect on me. I think I’ve grown more as a person because of their existence. I’ve been stretched beyond what I ever thought possible, digging deeper than the well would allow sometimes. And so far, I have survived.

But here’s the thing. I don’t want to just survive family life. I want to thrive.

What is it that makes a family thrive within their home? I have a few theories. They’re based on the good and bad days that I’ve observed in my home over the past 8 years. They’re also based on the books and articles I have read, and continue to read, to educate myself on this important topic.

I am by no means an expert on your family, but I do feel like I may qualify for a Phd in my own life. I don’t presume to have it all figured out every day (hilarious). But, when I do, my hope is that someone can take that tiny thread of goodness and weave their own truth with it.When I don’t have it figured out, I reflect on my mistakes, strive to make it right, and then try to forgive myself (that usually takes a while).

I don’t think a family can ever be perfect. But I do think that in the midst of the chaos that is inevitably life, we can establish a set of values that guides our actions, helps us navigate the sometimes rough waters, and steers us back to the equilibrium that we deserve.

That’s the magic spot where we actually thrive. But we must be patient with ourselves. We must allow our daily actions and choices to slowly build momentum. Becoming a family doesn’t just happen in an instant. We are our own single beings for so long, until one day we find we are inextricably and forever bound to our partner and children. But with time, consistency, and great heart, we are made whole, and become the solid stone we know as family.

When I look at all the research available, and the truths I witness in my own home, I have come to believe that there needs to be three focuses in a family:

  1. Nurturing Care: invest time and energy in all members of the family, including yourself. Lavishing love, care, and quality time while honouring the unique natures and/or developmental stages of each person.
  2. Nature: connect daily to the real world. The one that actually keeps us alive and provides everything we could ever need. Giving our attention to natural rhythms, beauty, and stillness is essential to our well being. We must learn to protect this precious world by seeing ourselves as stewards and honoured guests.
  3. Nourishing Food: prepare food that feeds our bodies and souls, made from ingredients that are good for people and the planet. We need to make time in our hurried lives for meals and reintroduce the old ways of food preparation that enhances nutrient absorption.

With this blog, I hope to explore these focuses in great detail and share whatever truths I can find. Any wisdom found in parenting is hard won, through tears, laughter, and joy. If we can share our stories, ideas, and mistakes, maybe we can move more effortlessly towards that thriving home we all deserve.