Thursday, September 18, 2008

Autumn EquiKnocks

What inner seeds of hopes and dreams will you harvest this autumn? Think about what you have wanted to create in your life since the natural New Year last spring. How are your “crops?” What progress have you made?

We are again on the cusp of the Autumn Equinox, that comfortable, predictable change of season that gives us continuity and a sense of order on Planet Earth. Autumn comes knocking at our door in the US on September 22 at 8:45 AM Pacific—adjust for your time zone. One of my first posts last year,
Happy Autumn Equinox, is often visited and has a lot of generic information about the season from a spiritual and symbolic standpoint.

This year, I’m treating all you Cool Insighters to an excerpt from Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights—the book. It’s from the chapter, “The AARP Card.” Imagine the crisp breeze and leaves falling:

I was born on the cusp of autumn. It’s my favorite season, even though I always get somewhat depressed during that time of year. I wonder if it brings back deeply unconscious memories of my original loss of my birth mom and my rough start in life. Or maybe the smell of early fires and the suggestion of winter in the air remind me of death and dying, as plants go dormant. There is a sad, bittersweet quality about autumn. Everything is most vibrant and bountiful right before winter—when it dies.

I also experienced many losses during autumn: moving from my childhood home, leaving home for the first time to go off to college, and ultimately, the deaths of my mom and brother. I wonder if I sensed those losses would come during that time of year, long before their illnesses. It would explain the blues I’d sometimes feel in the midst of leaves turning colors I consider among the wonders of the world. If I were to bet what time of year I’ll go back to the earth…

On the other hand—enough mourning—autumn holds two of my favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love costumes and the threat of a good prank. Best of all, I love a holiday that forces even the stingiest people to open their pockets to the kids and the dentists in the neighborhood.

I grew up in a time that preceded worries about razor blades in apples and Ex Lax in brownies. Homemade goodies were actually a welcome part of my Halloween booty. Being a Venus Girl—someone with a lot of planets in Libra or Taurus in my astrological chart, ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty—you’d never see me in an ugly costume. No hook noses or fake warts. I’m sure I played plenty a pretty princess or ballerina in my youth, not that I still remember.

As a younger grown-up, I’d never miss an opportunity to do something wild and wacky in the Costume Department. Some of my favorites include:

· Auntie Mame, one of all-time heroines and literary characters, with flapper garb and trumpet from the musical version of the story

The Purple People Eater—one eye, one horned, purple from head to toe, and flying into the costume promenade at work playing the old song by Sheb Wooly on a tape recorder

· A blue cosmic cowgirl in a kinky blue wig and cowboy hat, blaster at hip, and

· A Christmas tree.

I suppose you could argue I was mixing my holiday metaphors on the Christmas tree, but it was cool. I had a star on my head, wore a handmade green felt poncho that held garland, bulbs, and other ornaments, and I carried a wrapped box by a string that I pulled underneath myself when I spread my arms out, assuming the tree pose.

These last ten years, I haven’t done much with costumes, which does make me worry I might be getting old and no one told me. However, I always, at minimum, wear a black t-shirt with some Halloween message on it and pumpkin jewelry that glows in the dark.

More recently, I have become infatuated with
Dias de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, the Mexican holiday that begins the day after Halloween. Its purpose is to honor the dead and, at the same time, to thumb your nose at Death. Los Dias de los Muertos is not a sad time, but instead a time of remembering and rejoicing. Dias paraphernalia includes all those comic pictures of skeletons smiling doing various fun things like dancing. I have one under the clock in my office. The skeleton is grinning at his computer, wearing a pair of headphones. On the screen, it says Great American Novel. It definitely encourages me to get clacking away on my books, but if I run out of time, I hope I get to find out how you can still finish a book with whatever remains. Guess I may have to rethink cremation.

Then there is Thanksgiving, a holiday I truly attempt to celebrate every day of the year, not just during the big turkey spread and official kick-off to the winter holiday season. Gratitude is at the heart of a great life. The more we say thank you, the more the universe returns its bounty. Spirit, like people, appreciates those who don’t take giving for granted. Life is so rich. To quote my favorite Auntie (Mame, of course), “Life’s a banquet and most poor slobs are starving to death.”

Dig into the banquet. When Autumn EquiKnocks, answer the door with a big yes to her bounty. May your cornucopia and your gratitude overflow. In the words of William Blake:

"Gratitude is heaven itself."


Beverly said...

I was also born under a cusp (June 21). You've piqued my curiosity to dwell more into what it all means.

Anonymous said...

I loved your beautiful memories of the season. Fall is one of my favorite times of year because of the incredible colors and the way the light changes. And, like you, I feel a bit wistful that summer is over and we'll be going back to standard time. It becomes dark so much earlier in the day.
Perhaps, it's a time to go inside (literally and figuratively) and become a bit more reflective. Every season has a special feeling and, now that I'm older, I'm beginning to sense this more and more.

PopArtDiva said...

I love Fall too. It is indeed an equinox for me - every year I feel the need to clean and organize my art files. (Gathering the crops, so to speak)

I think this is because I'm getting ready for a new surge of creativity that always comes around my birthday in January! (My planting season - like everything else about me - comes early!)

Of course, I also like Halloween and Thanksgiving for the chance to "dress up" and the food!


Pam Archer said...


We have so much in common. I love the change of seasons, and the fall colors, but I dread winter. I lost my parents in the fall, so I am naturally a little blue at this time. This year, I am focusing on life itself, and being appreciative of it.

I enjoy your blogs!

Willow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi Honey,

I related to a lot of your post. My birthday is October 13. What a great time of year. How wonderful to be a Libra!!