As the night sky turned to daylight this morning, I looked out my window to see Mother Cotton, the grand cottonwood tree that’s been speaking to me over the past months. Much to my surprise she’d shed most of her leaves over the past week-end while we were out of town. I was disappointed to see this and lamented that I’d missed the transition. It helped me realize however that Life goes on with us and without us; that every harvest is filled with beginnings and endings, permanence and impermanence.
Joan Chittister adds clarity to the conversation with: “The secret of life is to let every segment of it produce its own yield at its own pace. Every period has something new to teach us. The harvest of youth is achievement; the harvest of middle age is perspective; the harvest of age is wisdom; the harvest of life is serenity.” Each is a gift given, and when received over time is a higher level of awareness that expands and brings forth more growth, generativity and guidance. Life’s harvests then become ever present.
As we are now in the fourth quarter of this years’ seasons and some of us are also in the fourth quarter of our lives, it seems appropriate to reflect on what has and continues to be harvested in this Season of Soul. Here we might look at what we’ve already achieved in our lives but maybe, more importantly, we might want to look at what we are aspiring to in the time we have left on this earth journey. For me, it’s a matter of mission which directs attention to the vision and action needed to fulfill this life.
My perspective is that we come to this earthly realm of reality, school, to learn what it’s like to live in a field of matter, dualism and finitude because we come from a field of spirit, non duality and infinity. I know this sounds a bit ‘out there’ but after decades of contemplative inquiry, study and life experience, it seems feasible to me that earth is a school for experiencing various forms of Being, Belonging and Becoming. Heaven and Hell then become states of awareness, realms of energy that teach us about Life….
Think about the transient, cyclical nature of our lives and how ‘knowledge’ is the harvest of awareness and attention to our knowing and not knowing over time. Look at how, at one time in life, we do certain things with ease while at another time we can’t do them at all. When we see Life as a series of planting, cultivating, waiting, harvesting and seasoning, it begins to feel like a school where we have to learn our lessons or repeat them over and over again until our time is up and we get sent back for review, re-awakening and return. We get it until we get it. . . .Get it?. . .Hmm. . . . Really?
By living with soul within an earthy spirituality, we invariably learn that we always reap what we sow. The value of this, within time, is the awareness that our thoughts are seeds and the harvest we reap always depends on the seeds we sow. Life lessons come to us like a boomerang in that our thoughts, words and actions come back to us over and within time. Recognizing this, we’re more aware of the seeds we sow. Not recognizing it, we sow seeds that produce weeds and unfulfilled needs.
“Inside every seed is the potential for an incredible harvest.” This harvest can be both negative and positive as we live in a realm of paradox. In this realm we have choice to transcend the seeds leading to indifference, anger, aggression, blame, fear, enslavement and destruction. We also have choice to sow seeds for empowerment, optimism, acceptance, wisdom, love, joy and peace. The key ingredient here is our ongoing awareness of the seeds we sow with our thoughts, words, and deeds.
During this season of Autumn, the Ineffable Oneness again teaches us that serenity and peace is the harvest of a quiet mind anchoring thoughts in presence, process, poise, patience and prosperity. I commend these divine energies to you as we move into the final month of Autumn over the next weeks. Together we can then discover the Peace that lives in our hearts, souls, minds and bodies to consciously sow the seeds of loving awareness and the Ineffable Oneness of Abundant Life for All wherever we are. . . .
- As you walk through your days, remember to remember you are part of the Ineffable Oneness of Being, Belonging and Becoming. In this remembrance, sow seeds of affirmation, optimism, acceptance and love wherever you are. Notice how it grows and feeds you and others. . . .
- Knowing that ‘inside every seed is the potential for an incredible harvest:’ See your Self as a seed…….and note the incredible harvest that you are receiving and giving through your Presence of Being.
- As the season of Autumn continues, take more walks in Nature and commune with the changes that are taking place inside, outside, around and through you and the whole of creation. Journal what you notice with reverence and thanksgiving.
- In stillness and openness, reflect on this Season of Soul. What are you learning about Life, Awareness and Aliveness?