Looking out of the window it is clear to see that summer has made way for autumn. Leaves are starting to fall from the trees, the nights are drawing in and there is a cool crispness to the air. I used to think this was a sad time of year – a time when trees started to look bare, where things started to get colder and darker. But now I see it as a time for reflection.

The other day I hosted a nature therapy session for a group of about 20 people. In our final sharing circle the topic of autumn came up several times. It was interesting to listen to how the participants viewed the season. For some they saw a lesson in letting go of what no longer serves you, just as the trees are shedding their leaves. For others – it was about nourishing yourself, just as the fallen leaves will help nourish the soil the tree calls home.

I’ve been reading The Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature. In it the idea of following a natural cycle of learning is explored. It’s an expansion of the idea Joseph Cornell developed in his book Sharing the Joy of Nature. Following a natural rhythm, we echo what is happening in the natural world. Looking at it as the face of a compass – the autumn represents West going into North West. Gather and Share into Reflect. Both are that time of reflection. As we gather and share we harvest ideas from one another. It’s about the collective. As we then move into reflect it is more about the self – looking inwards and what we have learnt from what has been.

When I look back on this past lap around the sun I have seen so much change in my life. It has been a year that saw The Eco Monkey come to life, a year that has challenged me and changed me. One in which I have seen the power of releasing that which does not serve me and the strength of nourishing what does. One where I lean more into trust and into patience – knowing that what is meant to be will be.

Invitation: find a spot to sit and just be. Cast your gaze inwards and reflect on what has been. Perhaps there are things you need to release yourself from?

If you feel inclined to take this invitation, feel free to share what you are noticing below.

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