This weekend marks the first official day of autumn. Though we have noticed the slow transition of summer into autumn for many weeks, having an official day of a new season is a wonderful, timely threshold; a chance to mark the passing of one phase and the beginning of another. My family and I love to celebrate every Equinox and Solstice; of course, that celebration looks different every time, depending on what is happening in our lives. But the meaning behind our celebrations always carries a common thread- to slow down, savor the here and now, and to connect ourselves with the natural world around us.
Below I’ve listed some simple suggestions of how to have a memorable Equinox celebration of your own. All of these things my family and I have incorporated into our festivities at one time or another.
Here in Indiana with the highs in the 90s it feels very much like summer, but if we look closely, we can see signs of autumn everywhere. Some trees are loosing leaves or have just a hint of yellow and gold. The light has changed drastically since just a month ago; every evening the sun sets a little earlier. What does the first day of autumn look like where you live? If you can, spend some time outside and have a good wander around.
Enjoy the Harvest
The flavors of autumn are some of my favorite! In the last few weeks apples, squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkins have been coming in. What do you enjoy eating this season? Perhaps making a dish with one of these favorite ingredients can be part of your day.
For almost any celebration my family loves to gather round a bonfire; though sometimes the weather doesn’t agree, so we might light candles around the house instead, or place a few on the table at dinner time. Gathering round a fire (or even twinkly fairy lights!) is a wonderful way to slow down and create a contemplative mood.
This can mean so many different things! Sometimes we will make themed decorations like leaf garlands, or bring bits of the outdoors in and make an autumn nature scene. Sometimes I will try to set a pretty table at dinner even if we are eating something decidedly not fancy, like pancakes! Pick something out of your living environment to make a little festive!
Have a big potluck with friends and family, meet a friend for coffee, spend time with those you love. Or, give yourself the luxury of your own, undistracted presence.
Is having a dessert after dinner a special treat? Or maybe you are like my Viggo, and love to take a family night walk with flashlight, candle or moonlight? Do you love going on a picnic, in your yard, at a park, or on the living room floor? Indulging in something special is a wonderful way to slow down and savor. What would your family love to do together? Do something that makes your heart sing!
Set an Intention
My favorite part of the change of seasons is setting an intention for the weeks ahead. It is a wonderful time to be mindful of where you are, and also where you would like to be. Think about your intention (examples: mend, surrender, practice gratitude, nourish) and write it down. This can be done individually as a family, or both! Sometimes, my husband and I will toss our written intention into a bonfire, as an offering of sorts; but, a little folded paper placed inside a jar and put upon a shelf works well too!
Demands on our time and resources are always changing, so no matter what we try to keep everything simple. I truly believe the purpose of celebrations is to slow down and be mindful of the here and now, and of course add a little magic and fun to our days!
What do you like to do to mark the changing of the seasons? I’d love to hear!
Knitter, plant lady, mama to two free-range kids.