Lessons of Autumn

This is an excerpt from Woodland Manitou: To Be on Earth, available now wherever books are sold.

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Here we are once again.  It’s fall in the Midwest, and the weather is changing.  The leaves of the maple trees out back are at their peak of orange and yellow vibrancy, and the backyard seems to glow with a quality of light that is unique to this time of year.  As I walk down the steps to the lake, leaves crunch under my feet and the air feels cooler than it has in months.  We still haven’t had a hard freeze, which is unusual and perhaps yet another sign of a climate that is getting increasingly unpredictable.  But regardless the mild weather, the earth is sloughing off her summer skin and slowing down in preparation for what is to come.  Winter’s cloak of stillness will be here soon enough.

Though the seasons change every year, sometimes it’s easy to forget the lessons we can glean from this age old rhythm of the planet.  Each season has its wisdom, and autumn is no exception.  There are lessons to be learned if we let the earth teach. Continue reading “Lessons of Autumn”

Writing The Ending

Researcher James Pennebaker writes, “Emotional unheavals touch every part of our lives.  You don’t just lose a job, you don’t just get divorced. These things affect all aspects of who we are – our financial situation, our relationships with others,  our views of ourselves…writing helps us focus and organize the experience.” When I lost my … Continue reading Writing The Ending

12 Tiny Things

What does it mean to “nourish our roots?”  That question could be answered in myriad ways, but one constant is that to effectively nourish, said ‘nourishment’ must often be ingested in small bites.  When I water the garden in the summer, the plants do much better when I give them a steady, small stream of water over time rather than if I just dump a whole bucket on at once.  And interestingly (and not surprisingly) when I meditate I get a lot more out of five minutes than I do out of an hour.  Because when I try to do an hour?  It doesn’t last.  But five minutes?  That I can handle, even days at a time.  Tiny doesn’t have to mean insignificant.  Tiny can actually mean commitment and impact, if we let small things be enough.  Because when enough builds, we find that we have a strong root system.  A foundation that won’t crumble.  A sustainable way of operating in the world.  Less overwhelm in a culture that often feels out of control.  Continue reading “12 Tiny Things”