“The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
What shall we harvest?
It is Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, traditionally a time for harvesting marked with festivals, rituals, and holidays/holy days that highlight gratitude for what we have received and the presence of impermanence.
Cultures the world over center gratitude at harvest time, acknowledging what is, and what was. Reflecting on the blessings and hardships of our harvest we recognize impermanence and the intimacy of our dance with nature.
Does the same hold true for an inner Harvest? How might this apply? What has this year’s inner harvest brought you?
While some gifts are obvious others require time and deep thought as might happen with a harvest of heartache or grief. Harvest time holds space for it all.
Giving thanks for our inner harvest gives us an opportunity to reflect and wonder how we got here. To contemplate another year of living and dying.
It allows us to connect the circular nature of life, which includes death, and the constant flow of change to the inner cycle of life. Connecting us to nature and mystery.
Look for the harvest in your heart.
The inner harvest encourages us to tend ourselves with self-compassion. To look at the places we may have fallen short and where we might want to offer or ask forgiveness. To examine what is working and what isn’t and approach both with gratitude. To let go of what isn’t serving us and recommit to what is.
It gives us a chance to look for the little pieces of magic that we so easily miss, a little bit of stardust, in the ordinary things in life.
Join a harvest ritual
Rituals and holy days disrupt our regular schedules, they ask us to mark this time as separate from other times, they ask us to gather together, to find our tribe, our families and friends, and be in community and communion.
Gathered together in this way, we might be able to be with the scarcity and abundance in our hearts, welcome sadness amongst joy, speak of grief and love, catch a glimmer of possibility of something to harvest from the bittersweet of loss, and acknowledge the bounty and the empty hands among us.
A place in time.
We all need times and places where this can happen, where we feel held in a circle of like-hearted humans weaving our individual experiences into the larger tapestry of humanity. Pausing at specific times in the year and in life allows us to reflect, give thanks, learn, celebrate, mourn, and together cross over thresholds stepping from one way of being into the next.
This might happen in shared religious holy days, family traditions, or shared ancient nature celebrations, there are many ways to meet the mystery and the divine, and many ways for us as humans to gather and witness one another.
What are your rituals? What holy days do you observe, and what festivals do you celebrate?
Have they slipped into the background of life? Might you revisit the healing and beauty they hold?
Maybe you need to re-imagine them to better fit who you are, might you invite others to join you?
What about your to-do list?
It is easy to skip holidays, rituals, and other gatherings, but consider for a moment your last day of living (may it be many years away 🥰) and think about times that were meaningful in your life. I am pretty sure that among them are the rituals of celebrations of weddings, the joys of births and birthdays, family dinners, candles lit for holy days, graduations, and even the shared mourning at funeral services or memorials. These times away from time, the threshold moments, create meaning.
Your to-do list will always be there but will probably hold little meaning as you reflect back on your life.
So what shall we Harvest?
Maybe Autumn’s gentle whisper is a reminder to consider what brings meaning to our lives and to view the rituals and holy days in our lives as opportunities to open doors to our inner world and step over these sacred thresholds in community.
Which seeds do you want to plant once this harvest is complete? What might need composting?
As Rumi wrote“… With life as short as a half-taken breath, don’t plant anything but love.”
~ Thank you for reading. Please share your reflections we would love to hear your thoughts ~