The end of summer—officially the fall equinox on Sept 22, but, unofficially, for many of us, by late August—is a time of transition. The weather is changing, the light ebbing (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least), the harvest coming in, kids returning to school. At work, people return from summer vacations and budgets are often being set in anticipation of the end of the fiscal year.
Most of us naturally tend to turn inward at this time, and we settle into different rhythms at home. (For instance, I know my family tends to gather around the dinner table much more often now that we have regular schedules.) At the same time, at work we might be scrambling to keep on top of things. The phone is ringing and emails are piling up. I think it makes sense to set aside some time for introspection, as the season urges us to do, so that we can go forward into our abundant work with a sense of replenishment. You might think of it as gathering in your own harvest.
Many cultures and groups have developed traditions around this time of year,\. In Japan, the Fall Equinox is a national holiday, and a traditional time to visit and clean the graves of ancestors. In Judaism, Rosh Hashanah, which this year starts at sundown September 9th, is a holiday that is both a celebration and a time of deep reflection and taking stock of the past. Pagans celebrated the new harvest, but also marked the change toward a rest for the soil, and a tilting toward hibernation. Perhaps you already take part in a cultural tradition with your family and friends.
How can you translate this to your work life? How might you clean out the cobwebs and gather the inner supplies to make this season a fruitful one? Perhaps you’ll look back and remind yourself of some of your favorite successes so far in 2018. And maybe you’ll go deeper and consider some of the motivations behind what you’ve done, and decide if those reasons still ring true. Perhaps you’ll think about what no longer serves you that you’d like to leave behind. And maybe you’ll revive some ideas that excited you, but that you haven’t yet had time to pursue. Whatever you do, I hope you’ll find a moment for seasonal reflection and renewal. If you have interesting seasonal ritual to share, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.