Autumn. Spooky season. Sweater weather. The Time of Pumpkin Spice. Whatever you want to call it, Fall is finally here in all its glory. It is my favorite season, and especially once October rolls around and the cooler weather is uninterrupted by straggling summery days, I feel like the world is the way it’s supposed to be.
From a spiritual perspective, I believe the rhythms of nature have something to teach us as human animals. Fall reminds us that there is a beauty in slowing down, settling in to rest, preparing our hearts for times of long darkness and bitter cold. While our artificial standards of productivity tell us to keep on making and doing, the sleepy earth invites us to be.
October is also home to my favorite holiday: Halloween. Originally known to the Celts as Samhain, this holiday has been celebrated for over seven thousand years. As the earth reminds us to rest, to honor the timely ending of good things as a good in itself, we set aside time to honor our own beloved dead, alongside our hallowed ancestors. We remember that death is not the boundary of God’s love and presence, and that we share fellowship with those who have gone before and those yet to be. It might seem odd that we mark this solemn time with costumes and candy, but as with any ritual worth participating in, our Autumn hallowing rites bridge the seemingly endless distance between our joys and sorrows, teaching us that life cannot be parsed out into discrete categories of good and bad. May we rest in wholeness and holy memory this Autumn season.