This post reflects upon the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox. It offers 8 ways to connect with this time of profound seasonal change by eating well, defining goals, and setting your intentions for the remainder of the calendar year.
Autumnal Equinox 2018 | 8 Ways to Connect with the Fall Season
The Autumnal Equinox is the first day of the Fall Season, and it’s time to celebrate and connect with nature!
The word equinox comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night). ~ Farmer’s Almanac
This year, the autumnal equinox, the first day of fall, is on September 22, 2018, at 9:54 pm EDT.
This is an astronomical event that marks the sun’s movement from the northern hemisphere into the southern hemisphere across the celestial equator. It marks the first day of fall in the northern hemisphere. You’ve seen the sun move further and further north through the spring until the summer solstice where it stood still for a couple days and then slowly turned itself around and started heading south and lower in the daytime sky. The first day of fall marks the moment when that movement exactly touches the equator – Making the length of daylight equal to the amount of night.
This shift in the season has a palpable feeling that is enhanced by the smells of falling leaves, hot apple cider, and simmering soups on stovetops. Through the ages, individuals and groups have marked days like these with seasonal celebrations and rituals. Let’s explore 8 ways to connect with the fall season.
Celebrate Autumn with Fall Seasonal Foods
There’s a dramatic change in seasonal foods with the arrival of the autumnal equinox and the early days of fall. All the soft, sweet foods of summer like tomatoes, cucumbers, and all the fruits shift to winter squashes, plentiful herbs, and root vegetables. The first three celebrations we’ll explore are all about enjoying the arrival of new seasonal flavors!
1. Celebrate fall by eating a fall-themed meal or organizing a fall foods potluck with friends and family.
You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to savor the tastes of fall. And, September is a great time to reconnect with friends and family that you’ve been too busy to connect since returning from vacation and beginning the school year. Here are some dishes I recommend for your autumn-centered meals:
2. Take a fall detox.
Both equinoxes are good times to reset your diet and metabolism with a nutritional detox. I am not a nutritionist, but have worked with several and can attest to the benefits of detoxing the body with healthy food choices. Here are some of my favorite resources for planning a fall detox at the time of the autumnal equinox.
3. Make soup to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox.
Making soups and stocks can be a kitchen meditation. Thoughtfully pulling together season ingredients can be a mindfulness practice. Chopping and preparing the ingredients is a quick and effective meditation practice. Enjoying the lingering aromas of a simmering soup pot the stuff of happiness and contentment.
Begin this practice by reading Broth is Beautiful from the Weston Price Foundation. If you are vegetarian or vegan, let The Minimalist Baker teach you how to make vegetable broth. Then, download your farmers market planner form the Resource Library and build your shopping list. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and aromas of a fall market while you get fresh and local ingredients for your stocks and soups. Can or freeze some of your stocks and soups for winter meals, but mostly enjoy them now.
Celebrate Autumn in the Great Outdoors
IMHO fall is the best time of year for outdoor activities. Autumn has the perfect sensual combination of sight, sounds, fragrance, and feel for full emersion into the season. Leaf peeping, migratory bird watching, the smell only offered by falling leaves, and that sweet brush of an autumn breeze.
It’s just yummy!
Read on for 2 recommendations of ways to celebrate the arrival of fall outdoors.
4. The fourth way to celebrate the autumnal equinox and the arrival of fall is to take a hike.
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. ~John Muir
Hiking, taking a long walk in nature, is one of the most healing things we can do for our entire being – mind, body, and soul. This fall, identify a hike that’s right for your fitness level and prepare a backpack with snacks and water and go play outside! These books can help you plan the perfect autumn hike.
5. Celebrate fall by working outdoors.
Now I’m really revealing myself. I love to work outdoors. This is my workspace most fall days. In my region, humidity often keeps me from setting up my desk on the porches all summer long. So, when the humidity drops as the autumn days progress, you can find me working away on either the front or back porch. Sometimes, I will pack up and go to a local cafe with outdoor seating. That is usually when my other chores are distracting me from a writing deadline.
If you haven’t set up a workstation outdoors, give it a try. Beware, it’s addictive!
Celebrate the Autumn Equinox in 2018 be Bringing Nature into your Home.
6. Decorate your home with natural objects to celebrate the arrival of fall.
With all that time you are spending outdoors, there’s ample opportunity to collect natural objects to use as home decorations. Acorns, a collection of colorful leaves, a particularly gnarly twig, dried flowers…these are little bits of nature that can soften the home in fall.
I’m heading out later today for just such a walk and will post a picture of my creation shortly.
7. Listen to seasonal music.
I love to fill my days with music and stories that reflect the season. Here are my favorites to highlight the shift of energy felt at the autumnal equinox and through the fall season.
Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox and the Arrival of Fall with Solitude.
We’re winding down now. It’s time to consider one final way to celebrate the autumnal equinox and the arrival of fall. For some, this time of year has a blue hue, a melancholy feel. After all everything is fading, going dormant, in a blaze of color, yes, but still receiving toward winter.
8. Take time alone, in quiet solitude, to welcome the season.
Sometimes, the best celebrations are minimal. The times when we only bring ourselves, our attention, to a moment is the greatest gift and the noblest act of reverence and celebration. This fall, unplug, detach, and deeply connect to the most beautiful season.
I have a few more things to say about creating a seasonal life!
If this approach to life speaks to you, you may find these posts enjoyable, too.
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