Each year, Autumn exhilarates me with an electrical sense of anticipation & joy. I love how the brisk fall air sweeps away the heavy-laden & stagnant heat of summer & encourages the bright colors of trees to burst forth. It's as though Nature herself is ready to celebrate the beauty & mystery of change. Few things in life feel as wonderful to me as the gentle warmth of Autumn sunshine that often permeates nippy October mornings, or the transcendently glorious aspen leaves that can suffuse an entire mountainside with gold. The whole mood of the season takes on the delight of renewed color & energy, and this is the time of year that I adore perusing Farmer's Markets where the vendors proudly spread out their wares.
In the small mountain town in Colorado where I live, vendors come from all over the state to display their organic fruits & vegetables, artisanal cheeses, & grass fed beef & free range poultry.
The produce always looks downright sumptuous, and I love it that even pastas take on a creative flair with varieties like "Garlic Asparagus Tagliatelle" & "Sweet Potato Pappardelle".
And then there's the "egg lady" Ms. Peck (yep, that's her genuine moniker), who knows the names & eccentric habits of each one of her free-range chickens because to her they aren't just poultry—they're her beloved pets. Given the fact that her farm has a view of one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the western hemisphere, I wouldn't mind coming back in my next life as one of her free-spirited little chickens or goats...
And speaking of free spirits, who could overlook the charming Farmgirls Homestead booth, with their unique Garden Fairy Apothecary of salves, notions & potions? It's well known that fresh mountain air & intense alpine sunshine has a magical effect on herbs, tinctures & homemade soaps, so it's no surprise to me that their enchanting concoctions are usually sold out by noon.
So to take advantage of my weekly Farmer's Market experiences, I usually try to arrive by the crack of dawn (they open at 6 am!) to sample the very freshest breads & produce money can buy—and for far cheaper than most organic grocery stores. Here's just a sample of my usual delectable haul:
But is it really just a bargain that I seek when I brave the crisp fall mornings before the sun has fully risen over the mountain tops to relish the sights & smells of the local farmers & artisans? To be honest, I think that's simply my excuse to experience the full range of Autumn's spell. Harvest, cornucopia, bounty, abundance—these are all synonyms for the color & wealth of sensation that Autumn offers before impending Winter will strip our lives back down to their essentials once again. But each season has it's special kind of magic, and for me, the enchantment of Autumn means both hope & mystery. Hope that after enduring a sometimes oppressively hot summer, cool air will invigorate my body & spirit & make me feel excited about pursuing my dreams again. And a deep sense of mystery as I anticipate what kinds of changes my dreams will bring into my life & how I can honor the sacredness of each day the sunlight grows shorter & shorter. Shadows begin to grow long, revealing a new sense of shape & form in the natural world—and with that comes more time to perhaps reflect on what is truly meaningful & magical to our spirits.
And may you find during this season of golden-colored days and crisp starry nights, a new courage to pursue changes in your life that will bring you the abundance you deserve. If you're uncertain how to envision that abundance, try doing this simple & good-natured spell to bring you closer to manifesting your dreams:
(Items required: 1 candle & a match)
Meditate on this charming picture for a moment & imagine yourself taking a walk through a dark forest & coming across two rows of glowing pumpkins that gently highlight your path. What is at the end of this trail for you that would give you a feeling of peace, contentment & a very deep sense of arriving "home"? Is it a good relationship, more satisfying work, vibrant health, true soul friends, or all of the above? Don't be afraid of true magic—for "magic" is simply the outward manifestation of the genuine longings of your soul. So take a moment to fully envision (in every lovely detail) precisely what the manifestation of your dream looks like. Then light a candle & pause, imagining yourself as you walk into your dream. Everyone is so delighted to see you there (even ancestors who have passed on), and they are very, very proud of you. What are the sights, colors, sounds & smells here? How does this place make you feel? Take a moment to realize that you are truly valued here for the unique contribution of your spirit—and for that alone—and the sooner you accept & genuinely believe that, the sooner you will find yourself manifesting your dreams. Now hug everyone who has welcomed you here & send them joy & love from your heart. And then know, as certain as the ground that you stand on, that you will not accept anything less than this beautiful dream for yourself. Know, too, that it is already waiting for you. Actively take the next steps towards your dream today—because your dream wants you. It needs you to be fully alive & to help you co-create joy. Before you blow out your candle, fully embrace the golden feeling that the Autumn season can bring & the inevitable changes that are an integral part of its magic. And now give thanks aloud for this dream already manifesting in ways that are beyond your imagination & control! Nevertheless, it will come into your life as surely as the moon always waxes to fullness once again. Picture your dream in bright detail with you in the center, smiling with contentment, & then blow out the candle. Gently inhale the smoke of your dreams as they are carried into the Universe & will come back to you at just the right time.
Happy Halloween - Sásta Oíche Shamhna!