by Bob Reeg, MPA, CVA
I feel conflicted about the autumn season. On the one hand, I enjoy the adjustment to lower temperatures and the burst of color as leaves change from verdant greens to crisp yellows, oranges, and reds. On the other hand, the decrease in daylight hours causes me to feel pressure to accomplish just as much as usual, but in less time. And the bare tree branches that remain after their leaves have been shed by brisk winds are a let-down.
Then there’s the socio-cultural transitions. Halloween costume parties and children’s visits to our door steps, followed by Thanksgiving gatherings with family and friends. Many of us are making our end-of-year charitable giving decisions too. But then there’s the hurry to close our outdoor living spaces, pack our shorts and flip-flops and pull out our sweaters and coats, and shop til we drop.
Whew, that’s a lot of dissonance! So yeah, I have mixed feelings about autumn.
I do believe that fall is nature’s way of suggesting for us an alternate pattern of living. The dwindling day light challenges us to slow our schedule a bit. And the leaf-bare trees remind us it’s normal to shed our excess and give ourselves a rest.
Applying these signals to our behavioral decisions, autumn summons us to Be Peace.
Being at peace is personal behavior. Some may choose to be at peace by claiming our full sleep cycle, sitting in silence, or praying. Others might select gentle physical activity, moderating our eating, or engaging in light conversation over coffee or tea. Some may seek forgiveness and forgive themselves for past transgressions. Still others may choose to release the effects of traumatic experiences. Some of us will do this personal peace work alone; others will do it with others. Many routes toward being at peace are available to us! What peace path will you travel this autumn season?
Bob Reeg is the founder and chief executive officer of Peace Through Action USA.