Autumnal Meditations

The other evening I sat on my patio and listened to the stillness of the approaching night. I wanted to meditate about balance, or more to the point I suppose, the lack thereof that seems to challenge us on a daily basis.

There were 2 crickets, one would chirp and then the other, taking turns, it seemed that they were quite courteous, each waiting until the other had finished. It seemed a fitting chorus for my meditation. Slowly my ears detected the sound of children playing down the block, their laughter made me smile. And then I began to hear the noise of the nearby streets although I hadn’t heard that at first. Not such a fitting chorus as the crickets, but certainly symbolic of the problem.

The equinox marks a point of equality between the day and night, a moment of celestial balance and in many parts of the world, the beginning of the harvest season and a period of gratitude. Here in the Northern Hemisphere it marks the beginning of longer nights that envelope us with a physical darkness that seems to ask us to look within for our own strength. It is a time to re-center.

Below are a few quotes that resonate for me. Please feel free to share your own thoughts about balance and gratitude in the comments.

Carol P. Christ:

We do not give so that we will receive, we give in gratitude because we have already received–from our mothers, from others, and from the earth—in a circle that goes back to the beginning of time.

As the wheel turns from summer to fall, it is time to give thanks for all that Beautiful and Bountiful Earth has given to us. And to think of what we can give back to the earth and to those who have generously shared its abundance with us.

Susan Hawthorne:

(W)hat we face is not unique. We are not the first generation to have to deal with “the dark hurlings of nature” although we may be the first to have brought it upon ourselves.

It is no accident that time and again earth is compared to the human body. Our planet like us is a living system – its ecosystems like our circulatory and endocrinal systems rise and fall responding to the events taking place on its surface and in its interior spaces. This is not a romantic idea of mine, it is metaphoric, but no less real for being so.

Our human experience suggests such metaphors to us as we grapple with ways of understanding our selves and our relationship to the world whether it be earth as body, wind as breath, the great flows of rivers, oceans and lava as tears and blood, grass and trees as hair and limbs.


  1. […] (Cross-posted  from my new blog, Reclaiming Medusa.) […]

  2. David Horvath says:

    “My sorrow, when she’s here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.” Robert Frost