Have you stayed too long?
We get a whiff of winter’s shadow and think it’s the end of all things. We knew this would happen, but still we’re surprised when nature tells us it’s time to move on.
We’re never quite ready.
But now it’s official. The autumn equinox is here to tell us another season is done. The new one will remove the reference points we’ve become accustomed to, forcing us to look up from our day-to-day to see where the days have gone.
But before the Sun begins the journey south, it must pass over the equator: a symbolic gesture of transition that creates an essential temporal interruption.
As it crosses between hemispheres it’s neither here nor there. And, in that liminal space, summer is not yet over and autumn has not yet begun. This is our reprieve.
This is the moment where we pause and ask, am I ready?
We know that night follows day; that seasons come and go. Yet most of us are largely divorced from the natural circadian rhythms of life. We have central heating and electricity and air con that allow us to live independently of the world outside. And, for the most part, we also live independently of the world inside, making us less attuned to the dynamic and temporal nature of our lives.
Seasonal change passes us by in a myriad of ways. Consider, for example, the phases of your life: jobs, relationships, business ventures or domestic arrangements that have long expired. Yet still you hold onto them.
Deep down we know that something has come to an end, but we’re not ready to let it go; to lose the comfort and stability of what we have — even if it’s not that comfortable. Change brings loss. It brings instability.
Change asks us to acknowledge our discomfort and to do something about it.
But in order to let go, we must experience our own equinox; a period of transition that’s neither here nor there. We must create a space in which we can allow for the loss. And grieve it.
Just as the Sun blesses us with a brief temporal reprieve, so we must do the same for ourselves. If you know a season is over, you’ve no need to jump straight into the next. Instead sink into that liminal space in between. This is where you grieve all that’s passed and passing, both good and bad.
Grief allows us to express our feelings of loss so we can move beyond them.
Only then can we accept that opportunities taken are not coming again. Only then can we forgive time wasted, money lost or hearts broken.
Whatever you’ve done, you’ve done. You did what you could with the knowledge you had at the time. But you know differently now, which is why you must recalibrate ahead of what’s to come.
Consider the equinox as the pause between the inhale and the exhale. You’ve drawn the old season down into yourself where you can absorb all the learning, just as the body absorbs oxygen.
It takes what it needs to function, heal and grow, releasing the rest. We do the same, expelling what we no longer need. Forgiving what needs to be forgiven. Healing what needs to be healed.
The grief is in this exhalation, which allows the seasons to pass through us, clearing space for what’s to come. You see; seasons are more than beginnings and endings.
Seasons undo the attachment we have to the past so that we can step into the future.
Everything must end eventually, good and bad, but there is always something else, something better, to come.