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Learning from Autumn

Learning from Autumn
Written by
Jackie Walker

Life is full of many different cycles - autumn brings winter which then gives way to spring. Without one we can't have the other. This morning I was out walking for an hour or so, I took longer today as I was soaking up the images and the warmth from the sun. I love seeing all the straw bales in the fields, the berries bright red on the branches and the big blue sky.

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Don't you think the sky looks bigger when it's blue? It kind of feels like you've got space to think and be and imagine. There was a nip in the air though and I started thinking that we've only got a few more weeks till the clock goes back and the dark mornings and nights would come in again. I quickly pushed that thought away as I was enjoying where I was!

Nature's very clever at handling change and it'd be the wise person who took on board some of her teachings. Most of us will do what I did this morning and ignore the warning signs of change when they are in the height of pleasure. Disregarding the fact that everything is a cycle with a beginning, a middle and an end is one way we can very easily land up going straight from wearing a bikini to wearing snow boots. There is an inbetween stage where you start to put on socks, pull on another layer and invest in hat and gloves.

Out in the fields, the haybales are brought in to feed the animals during the winter months when the grass isn't growing. The trees shed their leaves so that the cold wind can blow through them more easily and with less damage. They stop their sap from rising to conserve energy in the cold - it's not needed until the leaves return in spring.

It's a slowing down process. It doesn't happen overnight and nature takes it's time to allow everyone to get ready for the change. Squirrels gather nuts and build their nests to hibernate in. Birds fly to where they are most comfortable during the winter months. Hedgehogs use the fallen leaves and hide. The deer come down into the foothills.

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Autumn leaves courtesy of Amy Palko

Given that change is constant, and is the only constant in life .... how come so many of us are slow to act? How come we want to avoid the obvious? What is it that is stopping us from accepting and surrendering to such a natural process?

Firstly we want to avoid the obvious sometimes because we aren't ready for it. We don't want to change. It's a bit like having a two year old tantrum and stomping your feet! You can get cross and frustrated, you can be sad that it's happening and you can try and stop it. Trying to stop it is like the wee boy sticking his finger in the hole in the dam.

Not being ready for the change is often perceived as reasonable point of view. I'm quite sure that if the snow falls in November the councils often say 'but we're not ready for it' and they haven't put the ploughs onto the front of the gritting lorries, or don't have enough salt for the roads. But the fact remains, the snow has fallen and who are the council to say that the snow may come only when they are ready? What will happen if the council has been caught short one year is they will make damn certain that thereafter they will have measures in place for surprise.

Much easier then to surrender to what is and fully accept that change is en route and then set about seeing what you can save, what you can do to prepare for what is to come - even if at this point you don't know what it will be. Many people are afraid of change. They worry about what might happen to them. They believe that they need things to be exactly as they are for ever and ever. This is unrealistic, stunts your personal growth and your character.

Being unwilling to see change as natural creates stress. Stressed people are more likely to break down. Learn how to work with what is and you will learn how to flow with life's cycles.

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