Autumn Becomes Emotional

The Rosemary is hanging all about my room, dried and waiting to be stripped from the stem. I look out the window, and the smattering of leaves around my house, an autumnal moat, is a reminder that there are still many things to do in preparation for the winter.

The silence I used to write in, the silence I enjoyed so much, has been replaced by the sound of air rushing through the ducts, heating the nooks and crannies of this place, causing the walls to creak and cough.

Everything is changing around me.

Taking my blog to this site was one way of claiming a bit of ownership over that change. My reasons feel much more personal and emotionally motivated, rather than being political or business-oriented. I created this blog initially as a way to help me transition into a practice of Neopagan Druidism, and now I’m reclaiming it as a place to provide a peaceful, clutter-free atmosphere for me to continue writing, to continue trying to figure all this stuff out.

It was the right choice for me. An unexpected, but necessary change.

You never know what changes you’ll feel compelled to make in response to autumn.

Photo by Seyed Mostafa Zamani

Since coming to Druidism several years back, I’ve become affected by the seasons in more pronounced ways. Meditating on the transformation of the world around me draws attention to my own, more subtle (and not-so-subtle) transformations; the ways I’m moving from darkness to potential, from potential to new life, from life to growth, from growth to gathering and harvest — the time when my successes and failures become most clear to me — and eventually to a return to darkness.

What’s happening out there seems to be happening in here, so much so that I start to get the two confused.

Autumn comes, and it feels like I’m embodying the whole world.

Perhaps in part this feeling of overwhelm comes in anticipation to my upcoming trip to San Francisco, during which my kiddo will have the surgery I mentioned in my last post. I can’t explain how scared I am about that, and how big a deal this feels like to me. It’s been keeping me and my husband up at night. And in the daytime, when I’m not busying myself with as many tasks as I can create to keep my mind occupied, it’s all I think about.

But then the sun shines on the maple tree in our back yard, it glows orange, and I can see the beauty in the world. In that moment, I consider that perhaps in the midst of all this agonizing transition there is some unnoticed beauty just waiting for the light to shine on it.

There has to be, doesn’t there?

As a writer, as a parent, and as an adult, I feel this responsibility to have insights, wisdom, and understanding which will allow me to travel through this world relatively unharmed, to offer guidance for my kid that will help make things easier, to say the words that will be meaningful and relevant to those who listen. Perhaps it’s an unrealistic expectation of myself, but it governs much of my actions.

Perhaps that’s why autumn feels so challenging right now.

There are times in the year when the world is going to let go, it’s going to change, it’s going to cease to be what it was before. You’re just going to have to wait for things to come around again, and have faith that you are a part of a cycle. This change is not eternal. It will pass. The colors fade and the leaves fall, and the tree turns into a grey silhouette, but — but — the leaves will grow back again next year.

Gods willing.

I wonder if I’m the only one for whom autumn can bring this kind of emotional reaction. Is this just a biproduct of my current circumstances, or are there others out there who respond to this season with mixed emotions?

How has autumn touched you?






12 responses to “Autumn Becomes Emotional”

  1. Evan Adamson-Picco Avatar

    Autumn always touches me really deeply, because of what you Teo were talking about, that the seasons affect us deeper then we realize. It is true, after all, that we do change come the seasons, in my humble opinion. I think the holiday of Samhain kind of backs us up here.

    Autumn can be hard, especially because winter is coming…a beautiful, but sad time, but autumn is a time for reflection and meditation before the long cold winter. I guess that’s how autumn has touched me

  2. Luna Avatar

    All the best, Teo, to you and your family. All surgeries carry risk and it can be scary watching someone heal from it. I don’t know what length the hospital stay is for something like this transition, but be sure your kiddo does all the physical therapies his docs prescribe. They might hurt at first, but they are worth it.

  3. Greg Rothenberger Avatar
    Greg Rothenberger

    Autumn has always been one of my favorite seasons. I enjoy the colors, and the scents, and the traditions we have around it. Oddly enough, I even enjoy the changes it brings. Change is scary, but it’s something we all have to go through. I have some changes coming up myself soon, nothing so momentous as what your’e going through, and it’s a little worrisome to me. I wish you and your family the best of luck (especially with the surgery). I’m keeping you all in my thoughts.

  4. Patchouli Autumn Avatar

    Autumn for me is a time to reconnect. With your family, your home, and yourself. I do love summer, being able to do so many outdoor activities, but it can be a hectic time. When autumn begins, life slows down. Families, who in summer often went in so many directions, spend more time together. The house, often simply a landing place in the summer, becomes a home in the autumn & winter months. In the summer, life moves so fast, and we loose a bit of connection with our loved ones. Autumn & winter remind us that time is short, and that we should treasure each other.

  5. reni Avatar

    nature puts on a party dress
    dances in the wood and on the hill
    a season of bright merriment
    before resting, going still

  6. Levi S. Avatar
    Levi S.

    I love autumn, always have. The beauty of the leaves, the cool breeze on a still warm afternoon, and the night sky getting clearer each day. It all reminds me that death can be graceful and beautiful, but it can also come swifty and unexpectedly as I’ve seen years that seemed to have no autumn at all. It also reminds me that one day the trees will bloom again with new life. It seems to teach me of assurance that after the dark and cold comes warmth and life.

  7. laurie corzett Avatar
    laurie corzett

    Autumn Calls a Prologue to Fall

    Settle into setting Sun, calling leaves, day diminishing.
    Secret scent sings of grail quests, reveals synchronicities.
    Gathering hunters sense frenzied victory, pray to
    coalesce with
    darkening forest, deepening tales, shadowing deity.
    Ritual beauty, fierce death/wild rebirth.
    Pulling energy, drunk from fruits of Earth, swirl
    into ecstasy; face becoming. Sun dies from Western skies.

  8. Drew Campbell Avatar

    Autumn is my favorite season, in part because the changes to the landscape are so pronounced, so visceral. This is an excellent time for transitions in body and soul. I wish your family much peace and joy as you enter this new chapter of your lives together. And please let your son know that this middle-aged transman welcomes him to the tribe.

  9. Melissa Hill Avatar

    Autumn has always seemed bittersweet to me, a combination of death and beauty. Just recently my father had surgery to finish the transition from male to female. It’s been a continuing challenge for me to be supportive of that transition. I can’t imagine what it must be like, and how brave you must have to be to help your child with this, but I think as family of those who are transgender it is our job to support their choices, and maybe instead of giving them our wisdom, we should try to listen to theirs.

    1. Teo Bishop Avatar

      That last bit, @facebook-1361033987:disqus, really speaks to me. Thank you for this comment, and blessings to you and your family.

  10. Karen Waxler Avatar
    Karen Waxler

    I’ve always thought that one of the hardest callings in life is to be a parent. It’s harder than marriage, work, college, writing, exercise, chasing our dreams, and staying out of trouble – combined. It calls on every facility of our heart and soul every day without a break. “Change is inevitable, suffering is optional.” Things are going to change, just like the trees in your yard, the deep color of the hardwood floors in your house, and your desires from day to day. Our choice is to look at those changes with dread or hope. I find in my own life that when I am uncertain, carrying too much on my shoulders, or “embodying the whole world” – it’s a sign that I need to return to the center of who I am. I need to fast, or take a day off, paint a new picture, wash the sheets on the bed, or just spend an hour meditating on everything but the thing I am worried about. It’s easy to get busy with the tasks of life that keep us busy from the most important tasks of life – our life. I send love and prayers to your family during this transition. Remember that the transition itself is not an option, but how you handle it, is.

    1. Teo Bishop Avatar

      Thank you, Karen. You make me feel a little better about being so busy, about seeking out the little tasks which provide me a little comfort here and there. And, you remind me that it’s also valuable to put those tasks aside from time to time and embrace your life, to handle it with care and compassion.

      Blessings to you.