The equinox was on Saturday, ushering in the official change from summer to fall. Yay! Fall is my favorite season of the year — I love the cooler temperatures, the deep and melancholy colors, the way everything buzzes with a kind of purpose. I will always have that “back to school” urge to get new notebooks, new sweaters, new folders, new bag.
I’m a lazy pagan in general: though I’m not one to light a candle and dance under the moon, I like to use the change in seasons and the rhythms of nature to reflect and contemplate and celebrate — in my own, modern, idiosyncratic way, to feel like I’m in sync with the larger world around me.
Equinoxes are symbolically about balance: equal amount of light and darkness. I’ve actually been thinking about things like balance and equilibrium, maybe because lately my life doesn’t feel like it’s had much of it. I feel like I’ve spent the last month and a half settling down into a new place. Hearth and home, I guess. I couldn’t concentrate, really, on much else — it was a compulsion, to make sure the pots and pans were in order, basic furniture settled, building up my pantry, etc. I have never felt like such a stereotypical homebody Cancer, bustling about buying five kinds of vinegar and contemplating throw pillows for the sofa. (Yes, I can’t believe I woke up one day and was like, “Oh my god, I absolutely NEED to have champagne balsamic vinegar!”)
But now that’s done and passed, and I can get back to everything else. Theoretically, at least — lately I feel my focus and attention is a little scattered and frayed, and I don’t really have a lot of clarity as a result. I pass through time so quickly that the days scroll by in a blur; I sometimes feel like I’m just an airless wraith being tossed and turned by the winds in my days. You know that feeling, when you’re eating something and you don’t taste it because your mind is in a million different places. Or you just had a conversation and can’t recall what you just talked about. Or you lie down at the end of the day and the day’s events are all still racing through you. I hate to make many decisions in a cloudy state, so I really need to take some time to regain a sense of harmony. I need to do things like:
Make sure I get enough sleep. I haven’t been sleeping as much as I should, and I am kind of feeling it. Not burned out, but getting close to that edge. Sleep! It’s so easy for people to think they need to do without it, but it’s such a pillar of well-being.
Getting enough fresh air. Even if it’s just having coffee on my porch and sitting in the sun for a moment. There’s just something nice about it. Plus: I have to soak in what I can before it gets too cold for it.
Read! Watch movies! Listen to music Lately I feel like I don’t read as much as I’d like, or watch enough quality stuff, or listen to music as deeply as I used to. It’s not wallpaper; it deserves my full attention. It’s time to fill the well again.
Write! I haven’t really done a lot while moving — it’s hard for me to focus, for sure, on anything, and now I feel rusty and out of practice. I used to be quite good at getting up early to work on projects — I need to start doing that again, and carving out the space to honor that priority for myself.
Recreate a rhythm for myself. Even if it’s just ten minutes in the morning to have coffee and ten minutes at night for hot cider! Just something that creates a tiny oasis of time where I don’t have to do anything — I can just sit and exist.
I guess it’s a “back to basics” time for me, really, restoring my footing or center, or whatever word you want to use for the state of feeling rooted in life and solid in yourself and what you’re doing. For a long time, being creative felt effortless to me, but then I realized it was being my lifestyle at the time was structured around it. (Going to film school will do that for you.) Now I have to be a bit more purposeful, with so much else in life happening: a full-time job, loved ones, a home to run, etc.
I don’t quite believe in “life balance” much, honestly — I think creative people have muses and passions, and they need to pursue them in the seasons where they’re most ripe. But I do think even when you’re chasing your dragons, there’s such as thing as equilibrium to help you ride those tides. That’s what this equinox is about for me, finding my own balance of light and dark inside.