A Day for All Seasons
Today is the September Equinox, one of two days each year when the sun spends as much time below the equator as above. Day and night are equal. Like the Solstice, the Equinox marks a change of season on Earth. In the Northern hemisphere it is the gateway to Autumn, and for thousands of years human cultures around the world and have celebrated with harvest festivals.
- For 3,000 years, the Chinese have given thanks for the summer harvest with their Moon Festival.
- The Japanese Higan Festival is a national holiday, when Buddhists honor the spirits of the dead as they journey from the physical world of suffering to the spiritual world of enlightenment.
- Here in England, celebrants gather at Stonehenge to observe the equal, paradoxical powers of light and darkness.
The Creative Harvest
Harvest is the final station of the Wheel of Creativity, which describes life as a creative journey to which we are each called by our hunger for something more:
- A mother longs for all the children of the world to be fed.
- A scientist dreams for young people to share his love of science.
- A young geek envisions an easier way to interact online.
- A businessman turns toward his passion for organic farming.
- A corporate executive explores her vision for a yoga center in her town.
Many of us would prefer a direct route to Harvest when we feel this creative hunger, but it is the journey itself that takes us there. Every seed needs tending to mature. From the first station (Hunger) to the last (Harvest), our responses determine the quality of our crops. And this is where we always have a choice.
A Different Choice
Here on the south coast of England, the air is crisp with Autumn. This time of year has often made me sad, as I watch winter’s darkness encroach on summer’s long, light days. But today, as I woke, I asked myself how I would acknowledge this day, how could I celebrate the harvest of those days slipping away. The answer that came to me: “I want to swim in the sea.”
And so, at 10:00 AM, I made the two-block trip to the seaside and dove into the chilly (16.9 °C / 62°F) waters of the English Channel. In that very brief encounter, the sea met me with a thread of her bounty, in a string of seaweed I found floating. My sadness was overshadowed with aliveness, and I was nourished.
The Crops in Your Fields
Coming to Harvest in any area of your life shows you what you have sown and tended. When you’ve come full circle through all 12 stations to this one, the journey you began with hunger is now complete. Not only does your harvest feed you, it also nourishes your world. It’s time to come home and celebrate.
What are you harvesting in your life today? Does it nourish you? Does it nourish your world? Cut the fruit from the tree and eat it. Feed yourself with the produce of your own life. Share it and give thanks. Celebrate the hunger itself, which leads you into your creative life and brings you home again.