Summer or Fall?

As I sit in the garden and observe the life around me I am very aware of the unusual happenings for summer. The weather is not as hot as usual (I’m actually grateful for that this year) and the fruiting plants are behaving strangely.

Some of them are inexplicably dying. Others are giving an overabundance of fruit. And yet others are ripening their fruit two months earlier than the norm. So, what is the norm these days?

As the entire planet and all of human society is moving through this huge transition, there is no norm. What used to be a regular rhythm is no longer true. The uncanny experience that we are having by staying in place more – working and schooling at home instead of out in the community, shopping patterns disrupted to accommodate the need to limit our exposure, entertainment moved from in person groups to small or online interactions, etc. – is wrecking havoc with our sense of time.

We are working hard to rearrange our patterns to find the comfort in a new, reliable pattern. This is proving difficult to achieve, though, as the news and instructions from “authorities” are inconsistent and changing frequently. Emotions are swinging up and down as we allow ourselves to be influenced by these external “authorities”. Adjustments are being asked of us as the usual time frames for work and school are being changed week to week. Time feels strange and unclear. Is it summer or fall?

Now, more than ever, we need to identify a strong internal authority that we can check in with for decision making, clarity and comfort. Nature is showing us a beautiful process of both flexibility and adaptation as these changes unfold.

What is calling to you to change in your life at this time? Do you want to find new employment or commute less for your current job? A new way of educating your children? Perhaps, you are enjoying having time to take a walk every day. Do you feel more fulfilled by the home-cooked meals you’ve had time to prepare as a family?

In observing the natural world in the garden, I’ve noticed how the grape vine is working its way through changes. First, it produced an abundance of fruit each year. Then, it slowly pulled back to lesser amounts. For two years in a row, we didn’t get any fruit at all. This year, we have a few bunches looking healthy in their growth.

What is this? Could it be that the vine felt the changes in the environment and went to a more dormant state to figure out how to adjust to the new patterns of nature? Now, is it clearer on how to produce its fruit and is slowly coming forth, having made changes to its patterns to adapt?

Some of us are more adaptable than others. Can you find within yourself the ability to listen more deeply to what you are being called to do during this time of change, without automatically caving in to the external voices that are demanding your attention? And, then, unusual as the insights may be, can you allow yourself to take a deep breath and follow what you know to be true for you?

This is a learned skill. Let me know if you would like some help in developing it as you grapple with the current upheavals in life. Stay connected to nature and observe the examples that are available to us. Most of all be true to yourself. Keep in touch!

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