Right now, I see nature doing a lot of letting go: leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, green, life. It’s Autumn’s job and what I, like many who follow a nature-based spirituality, hear nature calling me to do in my own life at this time. As part of my Autumn equinox celebrations, I consider this question of what it is that I need to release; what habits. what patterns of thinking, what goals, what projects, what chapters in my story. This year, as part of our equinox activities, I made a little “stream” in our garden like the one here (but less effective, due to the lack of hill!) and some walnut shell boats a bit like these (but less, um, upright).
It had been a bit of a hard day in Mama-ville with Little Mr Toddler being, well, a toddler. As the three of us stood in our darkening garden with our boats, Dylan contemplating vocally exactly when he would get to pour all the water into the stream, I contemplated what I was letting go of; what I’d like to sail away from me into the darkness. I found myself silently lamenting the fact that yet another seasonal festival had come to an air of tension and frustration all round. Each time, I strive and want for these festivals to be joyful, beautiful days of celebration. In striving for that – through various activities. little rituals, food and plans – I probably expect a bit too much really. Too much of myself, the already-busy, often-tired Mama who in all honesty could do with less doing and more being; of also-busy, also-tired Rob who splits himself between the roles of work-Rob and Daddy-Rob; and of Dylan, too young to understand and really appreciate the symbolism and meaning of many of the things I’d tried to weave into the day. It had been too much. I started to feel guilty about it; how would Dylan ever see celebrating the seasons positively if he associated them with stress? How could I have prioritised these activities over just savouring and honouring stillness? The answer I harvested was that I probably needed to in order to realise I need to let go of some of my often-high expectations. My hope is that in expecting less, I will find myself more grateful and feel more blessed with abundance instead of thinking so much about what I didn’t do or have. The shift will be easier said than done.
Our little boats wobbled over and ignored the water trying to bob them along. My life these days seems one long u-turn from my teenage perfectionism. Goodbye, high expectations; I know some of you will stay with me like those odd leaves that cling onto their branches all winter long. But I’ll feel lighter with fewer of you. I’m sure. ♥