One of the easiest (and free!) ways to bring a little more simplicity into your life is to get back to nature – checking in with the season of the year, the energy it brings, and then acknowledging that in everyday life. Here in the UK right now, we’re deep into autumn, and have had so much rain over the past month. Whilst we haven’t been able to get out for as many nature walks as we’d have liked, we have still embraced the elements and our waterproofs and enjoyed the abundance of funghi we have seen.
Even though we live in the city, we try to get out in nature as much as possible. Here in Brighton (on the southern English coast), we are lucky to have the sea a mere 15 minutes’ walk away, but also the South Downs National Park and many beautiful forests a short drive from our home. There is no better way to connect with the cycles of the year than to visit a forest regularly – the vibrant colour change of the leaves in autumn, the bare branches exposing different views in winter, the buds and new life in spring, and the fullness of summer. Although I love to walk by the sea, there really is something soothing about being in the woods, whatever the season or the weather.
Reflected in the leaves falling from the trees, autumn is associated with a letting go, thinking of those things in life that no longer serve us. That might mean decluttering before we build our cosy winter nest, or it might be simplifying our commitments, or just putting summer clothes away for the next six months. Autumn is also a time for harvest, literally harvesting autumn squash or blackberries, or perhaps a more metaphorical harvest – once we have let go of what no longer serves us, we can see things as they really are, see what is essential and what is superfluous. Equipped with this knowledge, we can use it to reap the benefits of a slower simpler life.
This autumn I’m:
Reading: I’ve just finished the amazing Know My Name by Chanel Miller, and am currently curling up by the fire with The Choice by Edith Eger – both uplifting books by strong women
Watching: We recently took the kids to an Into Film Preview screening of the 2040 film. So much hope about climate change, a fantastic film! We’ve also enjoyed watching the starling murmurations around Brighton pier
Listening: I made a playlist of my favourite songs for a long car journey, and it’s become my new favourite
Eating: I’ve been making lots of Ayurvedic kitchari lately, a kind of lightly spiced dahl and rice combination, comfort food heaven and great for this Vata time of year
Making: Together with my 14yr old daughter, I’m knitting socks as a project for the autumn/winter months. We’re using a self-striping yarn, loving watching the magic happen with every row.
Looking forward: to catching up with an old friend this week, and also to the opening of The Feminist Bookshop in Brighton!