Isn’t autumn beautiful and fun? The vibrant colors, the slowing down of summer yard work, pumpkins everywhere, and a trick-or-treat holiday add up to my favorite time of year.
I’ve never really understood the hoopla of Halloween, but I have many memories of great times while dressed up and acting silly. The most fun was when nobody could figure out who was under the mask. My sister Patty had a closet full of Halloween costumes. She fixed me up many times.
Halloween has religious roots but also traces back to the Celts. They believed that on the night of October 31, ghosts would revisit them. I guess the living didn’t like that idea, so they lit bonfires to ward the spooks off.
The traditions and beliefs have changed, and we no longer want to scare spirits away. Instead, we find it entertaining to paint our faces or adorn a mask to become someone or something else. We also enjoy decorating our homes with leaves and pumpkins, plus caskets, witches, and skeletons. We created in the name of good, harmless fun a holiday to release pent-up energy.
Autumn offers a time, as the pace slows down, to reflect on life–what has happened, what is going on right now, and how we see the future. It isn’t the beginning of a new year, but it is undoubtedly a time to begin closing the pages from the first ten months of the year.
November 1 is approaching, and I watch the beautiful Ash leaves on the tree in my front yard fall to the ground and float around with the wind. I wouldn’t say I like wind, but it has a good purpose when it helps Mother Nature complete her fall work. Fall is a reset button for me. Unlike Spring, where we clean, organize, and plant, Fall is time to cut back, slow down, and enjoy the stillness. For me, it is also a time to pull out the soup recipes.
Mental health is not possible if we never let the old die. How can fresh flowers bud in the Spring if we never clear out the weeds of the past season? We need to allow Mother Nature to do her magic, and, thank goodness, she seems to work overtime in the Fall.
Take advantage of this time of year, breathe deeper, sit more often, and enjoy your own company. Would you please do it for your mental wellness?
Responsibilities abound in our daily lives, and some seem to relax in the Fall. Take advantage of this gift. Changing seasons remind us to transition from the past and enjoy the present—relax, breathe, and do less.
If Halloween helps you scare away ghosts or belly laugh as you watch goblins parading around your neighborhood, or both, say, “Thank you, Mother Nature.”
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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