By Monica Mikolajczyk
We are, by our very nature, cyclical creatures (especially women, as our bodies operate on a monthly cycle). However, due to busy lives, not slowing down as often as we need, and having a variety of foods at our fingertips, we often forget the importance of seasonal celebrations.
The Autumnal Equinox is a time that we gather our final bounty, count our blessings, share our abundance with our neighbours, and finally turn inward to rest. As the fall gives us a fancy fashion show with all of the changing leaves, daylight hours shorten, and everything begins to slow down.
For our ancestors, this time of the year literally meant life or death. This is the time when the final harvest of the year was gathered, and if enough food wasn’t grown there was a chance the family would not survive the winter. During this time of the year, our ancestors would use different methods to preserve the food they gathered. They would practise methods such as drying (herbs and spices), salting meat and fish, smoking meats, canning or bottling, pickling, and burying foods like cabbage and potatoes (can be buried in the ground to preserve them in the winter months).
The Autumnal Equinox is a time that we gather our final bounty, count our blessings, share our abundance with our neighbours, and finally turn inward to rest.
Now, as we approach the season of Winter Solstice, everything has turned inward to rest. The Winter Solstice marks the longest night of the year, and slowly the nights begin to shorten and the world is slowly reborn. While we may celebrate this season with different holidays, and can easily get lost in the business of this time, may we take time to remember that despite what is going on in the world, we can take refuge in Mama Nature and her incredible cycles.
In our fast-paced world, we don’t take the time our bodies need to rest and rejuvenate. We are, in fact, creatures of this earth so why shouldn’t we cycle with her? Even though we live on this beautiful island, it is so important, for our overall health, that we find a way to honour the way our body is shifting energetically during this major shift in nature.
Here are a few ways you can honour your mind, body, spirit and Mama Nature during this time:
- Meditate. Take a few minutes each day to sit somewhere quietly, or listen to soothing music, focus on your breath and think about your hormones, your cells, your being finding balance.
- Learn a new way to preserve a food.
- Have a bonfire on the night of the full moon and celebrate this season.
- If you have littles, go up to a forest or find a park full of trees, and collect items to honor the season’s change (leaves, pinecones, etc.). Create a display, a shadowbox, a mod podge creation, a decorative hanging, etc.
- Get outside during the day, and even spend a few minutes outside at night, to help your body sync up with the Earth’s natural cycles.