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Take a leaf out of nature’s book and lean into the restorative season of autumn.
Restorative (adj): ‘having the ability to restore health, strength, or well-being‘
You can’t miss autumn with its telltale cascading leaves of fiery red and orange. While we all savour the annual show, leaf fall is a tree’s coping mechanism for the colder months ahead. Without leaves, a tree requires less energy to remain alive and moisture is concentrated to the tree’s branches and trunk instead. Trees without leaves are better able to cope with winter storms as wind can move through the branches freely.
Trees and plants reserve and store their energy, while certain animals, such as hedgehogs, gain weight to help them survive winter hibernation and others, like squirrels, build up extensive food stores. At the same time of year, we too gathered crops and filled larders to sustain ourselves through the winter. The word ‘harvest’ comes from the Old English word ‘hærfest’, which means autumn. In the past, entire villages would come together to gather crops at the end of September, hoping that the harvest would be sufficient to feed them during the colder months. A good harvest was most definitely a cause for celebration, while a bad harvest had serious consequences for families and their communities.
Embracing seasonal living and reconnecting with the natural world’s patterns reminds us that we too go through phases of different energy. While we may be further removed from the historical significance of harvest today, we can still reflect on the idea of preserving – and be grateful for – that which sustains us during autumn. After summer, typically a busy season, we adopt a slower, more considered pace come the change of the seasons. Days are shorter, temperatures are cooler and meals are heartier. In autumn, our challenge is to conserve our energy and focus on where we need it most.
Savour the season with these slow living activity ideas for autumn.