Autumn- How to think like a Gardner

Autumn HarvestAs the weather changes, evenings become darker, days cooler we begin to hear the laments:

“I can’t cope with this weather, where has the sun gone”

“I dread this time of year, it’s so depressing”

These will be familiar words to all of us, we may even suffer the same fear and discomfort as summer beings to fade we mourn the feeling of the hot sun on our skin and the bright balmy evenings.

How do gardeners cope with the Autumn?

Those among us who spend their time outdoors, carefully watching over and tending their plants. Adjusting the light, temperature, water and feed each plant needs. From what I understand they celebrate Autumn, they celebrate their crops, their success, the plants that have done well and the crops that have yielded. They ponder and cogitate on the plants that have not thrived, they explore what could have been done different, what regime to employ next year or they may draw the conclusion that this particular plant does not grow well in their soil. They begin the plan for next year and indeed start studying seed catalogues, ordering  and projecting what needs to be done and when.

It got me thinking; gardeners use Autumn as a time of celebration and reflection. It’s not a “dead time” more a time of thought, observation and planning.

How can we use the time of Autumn to the fullest?

Reflect, ponder the year so far, what about you has thrived, grown well, flourished. What can you celebrate? What have you sown  this year, attended to, nurtured what are you able to harvest? What aspects of yourself, your family, friends, work colleagues, your work, your study, your hobbies etc can you celebrate.

There will be aspects of ourselves, our relationships and lives that might not have worked out so well. We might have allowed weeds to thrive and lament, certain aspects of our lives have not gone well, we might have suffered, been in pain, experienced setbacks and obstacles. Like a good gardener can we spend some time to reflect on what we can do differently, what we need to change, in order for a successful harvest. Maybe now may be the time to dig something out, cut back, weed and dispose of on the compost heap where it can be recycled.

“The future depends on what we do in the present” Mahatma Gandhi

The frenetic seasons of spring and summer are in the past, and we are left with the mellow rich time of Autumn. We can sit a while, rest, reflect. We can plan, what do we want to plant, what shall excite us, please us, nourish our beings. How do we want next year to look, it’s true, we cannot predict with any certainty but we can prepare the earth of our being and sow the fruitful seeds of our hopes.

Sometimes the fear of the lack of light and sun can really affect us. You may be reading this wondering exactly how you go about this reflection and planning. It may be daunting; it may feel frightening. It can feel lonely. Therapy is a tool that you can use to enable your development, to expand and increase the knowledge of ‘self’. It’s a way of exploring yourself with company. Your therapist won’t know you better than you know yourself, they won’t have the answers instead they will be your co driver, looking out for blind spots and helping you negotiate obstacles.