Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.
Seriousness is not a virtue. It would be a heresy, but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.
G. K Chesterton
More thoughts prompted by recent weather events….
Yesterday all exterior talk was of storms and wind and damage. Interior talk was of loss and holding onto to what really has worth.
What if we allowed our hearts to keep opening, even in the face of storms and uncertainty, until our hearts were big enough to fit all experiences inside?
We could learn to stop when the sun goes down and when the sun comes up. We could learn to listen to the wind; we could learn to notice that it’s raining or snowing or hailing or calm. We could reconnect with the weather that is ourselves, and we could realize that it’s sad. The sadder it is, and the vaster it is, the more our heart opens. We can stop thinking that good practice is when it’s smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it’s rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea.
The storm passed over Ireland yesterday, blowing down trees, cutting power and diverting plans. How easy it is to be blown off course.
Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
The leaves are falling, falling as from far,
from wilting in the heavens’ distant gardens:
They’re falling to deny the summer’s mirth.
And in the nights the heavy Earth
falls into solitude from star to star.
We all are falling. See my hand: it is falling.
And look at others: It’s in all their calling.
And yet there’s One, who’s holding all this falling,
with endless tenderness, in His upturned hands.
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving
and for once could do nothing
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.
Pablo Nerudo, Keeping Quiet
This season calls us to the harvest. Seeds planted long ago create a bounty and fullness in our lives. Autumn invites me to remember the places in my life where I had a dream that once felt tiny and has now grown and ripened into fullness. I savor these places where my life feels abundant. I relish the experience of being nourished by dreams into my own growing wholeness.
The poet Rilke writes of autumn: “Command the last fruits to be full; / give them just two more southern days, / urge them on to completion and chase / the last sweetness into the heavy wine.” We move toward our own ripening and in that journey we let go of what no longer serves us.
We live in times when it often feels like everything is coming undone. This season reminds us that the journey of relinquishing all we hold dear is also the journey of harvesting. Somehow these two come together year after year. We are invited to rest into its mystery.
What are you releasing that no longer energizes you?
What dreams do you want to harvest this season?
Christing Valter Paintner, Autumn Equinox: Honoring Harvest and Release