I am pondering the Autumn Equinox, this most beautiful season of balance, when we acknowledge both the abundance of the earth, and the nourishment of decay. While writing I remembered saving some of Rosie Garlands words, which i have copied below. Autumn leaves are such a powerful and potent image of the beauty of decay. One of the few ways our culture celebrates decay, and yet as Rosie points out, many of still fail to see the worth of leaves, or women.
Such poignant words which took me to all the women throughout history and today who are still not heard, and to the earth herself, for surely her story remains in fragments only. I also thought of Rosie Batty, the Australian of the Year, trying to make audible women’s voices, particularly the voices of women in violent homes.
I am saddened by the state of this world, but gladdened to know so many of us are calling the feminine back into our lives. We are saying yes to the Autumn Equinox, yes to the descent, yes to the creatrix, we are saying yes to the nourishment of the leaves, and the decay and the compost. By dancing in honour of the Autumn Equinox we are given a space to acknowledge the value of the descent phase of the life/death/life cycle. We are allowing our feelings of pain, rage, and sadness to arise in a non-judgmental way. We do as Glenys Livingstone says, “allow(ing) the grief, letting it wash over us, saying yes to it … and yet we may do so graciously, remembering the abundance received in every moment just by the fact of existence”. We who know the power of decay who have a voice, a song, a dance, a drum, a poem must live this work. We must dance our dance, sing our songs, beat our drums so loudly and beautifully that those who have not yet found their own song/dance/drum can hear the call, and in hearing they can find a way home to their own creativity, to their participation in this dance of creation.
read Rosie’s words and let me know where it takes you…..
‘I thrust my hands into the cushion of leaf mould, sift it through my fingers. Each leaf is nourishment for the small beasts of the forests, who in turn feeds the greater beasts, who in turn feed men (sic) My head swims in contemplation of this marvellous chain of being. Yet men stamp upon them kick them out of the way as if they are nothing. I wonder if we are not poorer for the loss of a single leaf each as lovely as the cast of wing of an angel.
I swoop up a heap and toss them into their air. They fall in damp patters full of the aroma of decay that is not dying but the promise of rebirth next spring. I hurl more and more …Each leaf is a woman, a million of us, tramped into dirt. We bud, we fruit and when we can bud no more, we serve no further purpose. After a brief harvest we are raked into heaps for burning. I see the face of the earth swept clear of our dappled light, our softness. A barren world scraped bare and dry, lacking the thick mulch of our abundance”
So in whatever way you can take the time to let the leaves fall, the buds and the rotting fruits. Let it all fall safely to the earth where the nourishment of decay can live on, and new growth will emerge in spring.
Rosie Garland, Vixen, p. 403
Glenys Livingstone, pagaincosmology.com