Autumn is a strange time of the year for me. On one hand, I love the changes, the fall colors and the crisp fall nights. On the other hand, the dreary, rainy days of slate gray Ohio skies and the shortening window of light skews my perspective and mood a bit. I get in what I call a funk that makes me pause and reflect on what fall can teach me.
I have a confession. I like funk and disco music. The bowbowbooowww of an electric bass guitar, a definite drum beat and the scratch scratch of guitar always gets my feet a’movin. (Can anyone say Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars? Wild Cherry, Isaac Hayes, Marvin Gaye, War, etc.)
But I’m not fond of being “in a funk.” So with a nod to Lipps Inc.’s 1980 disco/funk hit Funky Town, I found myself singing “take me to funky time. Won’t you take me to funky time. Gotta make a move to a time that’s right for me. Time to keep me movin’ Keep me groovin’ with some energy. Yep, this time of year is a funky, strange time and the way I’ve learned to deal with the feeling of bit out of sorts is to lean into the “funk”. Nature lets go of light and warmth and enters into a new phase of existing – a period of shrinking light and cooling temps. Nature lets go of what is green and life-giving and enters it’s own funky time. A time of liminal space, a time of dying and decay. A time for pausing and considering what is about to die.
Crisp falling leaves dissolve and melt into the ground with cold rains or get blown away by blustery days. The smell of loamy and decaying soil permeate the woods surrounding our home. Nature dies and let’s go of what was. Summer is over and gone. It’s part of a seasonal cycle.
Autumn is a time I ask what I need to let go of in this liminal funky time? What do I need to die to? How do I go willingly and gracefully into “funky time” and embrace the in-betweenness of fall? How do I “die” to what was? What is this seasonal transition trying to teach me perhaps for the first time or in some cases the same lesson I’ve yet to learn? What do I need to let go of spiritually during this time? How do I “die” to what was, slow down and gently lean in letting go.
There is an ill-ease in liminal space and yet, there is something familiar. Perhaps the familiarity is the cyclical nature of the changing seasons. Each autumn I must learn again to lean in and let go of summer and what was. Stop resisting. Surrender. There is a time and season for everything and autumn teaches us we have to let go. Letting go and letting be is part of the cycle of Life.
So take me to autumn, to funky time, so I can join in the liminal dance that this season brings and re-learn what I need to die to and to let go of. Give me eyes to see the beauty of the color of dying leaves. Help me to slow down and pause and see the grace of another season.
Reflection: What do you need to let go of this fall? What summer story is causing you suffering? How do you feel about “in-between” time? How will you grieve what you let go of? What grace to you feel and see in “funky time”? Can you see the grace of this time in the call to slow down and pause? Take a moment and breathe in the changes. Lean in to the in-between time.
I hope this autumn finds you open to the grace and uncertainty of liminal time and space. And as always, if you want to talk more, I’d be happy to companion you on your journey.