October: The Beautiful Death

For most of the month of September, we can get away with pretending that summer will last forever. By the time October rolls around, there is no denying the arrival of fall. October is the year's final dance of life and color, one final show stopping number to bring the house down. In the midst of enjoying the coziness of our favorite jackets, pumpkin and apple spiced deliciousness, and bonfires, it is easy to forget that the reason October holds so much beauty and color is because everything is dying.

There are those among us who naturally and easily love this part of the year's cycle, and there are those among us who dread it, not necessarily for itself but for what we know is to follow. It is easy to find joy when joy is easily accessible, when it grows freely on trees, in the faces of flowers, and in the bounty of your garden. But for many of us it is not as easy to find the joy and see the gifts of a season that brings with it the symbols and the promises of death.

Dying is not a beautiful process here in modern Western culture. It is something that we work hard to avoid even thinking about, let alone preparing for or participating in the deaths and endings that happen all around us and within us.

However, the beauty of October encourages us to behold the beauty of our own endings, and to celebrate the sources of our sustenance as summer becomes winter; to revel in the gifts of death and decay; to find joy in the cyclical nature of our Earth, of our lives, and of our selves. October asks us to participate with the season by going inward and to stand in the flames of our own phoenix cycle, and by taking time to honor and celebrate the lives, deaths, and new lives of all who have come before us.

At the end of this month and the beginning of the next month there is a three day celebration of this death portion of the life/death/new life cycle and it begins on October 31st with Halloween, or Samhain, or All Hallow's Eve, to name just a few of the titles that this day holds. It is followed on November 1st and 2nd by All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. These sacred days of remembrance offer us an opportunity to participate in a greater cycle, and to revel in both the joy and the sadness that comes with death and loss.

Join me this month in exploring what it means to fully enter into and celebrate the Autumn season - a season of ending and dying. Prepare yourself by taking the time to notice the things within and around you that are in a season of coming to completion. It it not time to be concerned about what happens afterwards, it is time to focus on the lessons and the joys of the process of arriving to an ending.

Each week this month we'll explore a new dimension of ourselves and allow October to lead us through to a beautiful completion that ends in revelry and celebration.

Peace to you.