Fall as Transition
Fall is a season of transition, a time when the air begins to cool and the days start to get shorter. Fall marks the transition from summer to winter and is important to all creatures as it is a special time in which we are able to prepare for the onset of winter.
Fall as Preparation
All creatures prepare for winter in their own way. The bear starts to eat food heavy in calories and fat so that she might sleep the winter away. The squirrel hoards mountains of nuts in secrets locations, while the mice gather seeds in order to have a store that will last through the long winter months.
At one point in time humans had their own rituals for preparing for winter. Some humans would dry meat and work on strengthening their shelters in order to prepare for the dark nights ahead. In some areas humans had to prepare for bitter cold wind and snow, while in others they had to prepare for months and months of rain and food shortages.
The Modern Dis-Connect
While the drive to prepare for winter still remains in us, we no longer have a an obvious outlet for its persistent reminder of the oncoming hardship. I find many people at this time of year start to feel abnormally anxious and start to feel the need to buy things for their home, or change something in their life. The need to prepare has not left us, yet our ability to prepare is somewhat hindered by the modern world.
Art and Self-Expression for Fall
In times of transition, such as Fall, and with the need to prepare for winter months, I trust the healing powers of art to help me understand and embrace my state of mind. One of the beautiful aspects of art is that it has no limitations. Art does not care if you live in the city and cannot prepare for winter like your ancestors did. Through art you can build shelters, gather seeds of wisdom, and consume calories of creativity. With the help of art you can fulfill the primal need to prepare for winter and you can relish in the comforting feeling of being ready for the dark contemplative nights that await.
Simple, yet meaningful ways to engage with art in order to appease our need to prepare:
Draw a shelter that will protect you. Make a list of everything you need in that shelter in order to survive the oncoming darkness of winter.
Create something comforting that you can bring out on the coldest, darkest day of winter. This could be something soft and nurturing, or bright and cheerful!
Draw a map leading to summer. What will you encounter on your journey? (You can also create a list of items you will need for the journey)
Be sure to use the wisdom garnered from your art and writing, and the subtle, soft wisdom of your heart, to propel you to take action steps to further prepare for the coming winter. Clear out closets, donate unused clothing, household items, etc. Clean and clear spaces, so that your home or shelter is comfortable, and like a haven protecting you for the elements outdoors. Check out Himalayan crystal lamps, full spectrum light bulbs (try putting in your kitchen light fixtures), and start cooking and freezing meals so that you are ready for the dark and cold days.
Prepare, Nurture Yourself, and Enjoy this Time of Year!
Thank you for existing, and may this Fall bring you a sense of peace and fulfillment.
To see Cammi's photographs and art work around these themes, click here.
List of image sources (in order of appearance):
Photo by AZGAN MjESHTRI on Unsplash
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash
Photo by Tracey Hocking on Unsplash
Photo by Karina Vorozheeva on Unsplash