Autumn: The Season of Paradox

The autumn equinox falls on September 23rd this year—a time when the sun rests above the equator, and day and night are divided equally. It heralds a season filled with change, celebrates the harvest, and ushers in the brilliant beauty of death. Autumn is a season of transition, of continual movement.

At the heart of autumn’s gifts are these twin energies of relinquishing and harvesting. It is a season of paradox that invites us to consider what we are called to release and surrender, and at the same time it invites us to gather in the harvest, to name and celebrate the fruits of the seeds we planted months ago. In holding these two in tension we are reminded that in our letting go we also find abundance.

In the seas all around me here in my beloved Northwest, the salmon are responding to an ancient and ancestral call. They are returning from the oceans, and making the hard and often battering journey up the rivers, to return to their birthplaces to lay eggs offering the gift of new life. This journey always ends in their own death. It is an amazing mystery as I imagine this deep longing for home the salmon must feel and the ultimate surrender they welcome while also offering a harvest of blessing for the next generation of salmon.

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