Retirement: A Thought At Winter’s Doorway

all 4 seasons represented in a single landscape

4 Seasons of the Earth

For some of us the 31st of October is an excuse to collect candy. However, in the Celtic tradition, it is Samhain, a celebration of the arrival of a new year. It is the time of gathering the last harvest; a time when the gate between the seen and the unseen realm is porous. October 31st is the threshold of Winter and the dark half of the year.

In my personal journey of long-term unemployment, I kept my sanity by teaching myself to manage my time and energy by reckoning time in harmony with the rhythm of earth’s seasons. I learned how to determine the passage of time by noting the strength of the sunlight and what grew in the gardens and by the roadsides. This way of counting time felt so “correct” and “right” to me. The blooming lily of the valley would whisper, “March” and the appearance of certain blue wildflowers said,” it’s June!”  Autumn hails when the golden goblet-like Maple tree flowers open and light slants through my window  in that unmistakable  way. I respond by immediately beginning the “winter holiday making season” a time of planning and making all the decor for my home for the coming holidays. As I speak I am nearly done.

Then, I began recognizing the periods of 6 weeks between the four seasons, selecting  feasts from both Christian and other sources to mark them. I added commemorations of personal significance like my parents’ birthdays. This year, I will remember my father who represents the Hispanic part of my heritage. His birthday would have been today. He immigrated to the United States from Panama and I will remember him with all my departed ones in my own personal “Day of the Dead” commemoration this year.

I “slowed down” in terms of the corporation. Through this “slowing down” to natural rhythms I grew so much healthier in mind and more stable in soul that I never went back to corporate hamster wheel style timing when I returned to employment. Last of all, I re-added the days of the week. Unlike in the beginning of non-employment, I now have no trouble of all remembering what day it is, or where I am in time and space. I believe this is some of what a favorite blogger, author Waverly Fitzgerald means as part of the definitions of “slow time” or natural time.

Whatever you feel about October 31st, may you enjoy the blessing of this special portal of the year.



2 thoughts on “Retirement: A Thought At Winter’s Doorway

    • Thank you so much for the comment! Glad you really like the picture. I really enjoy the fall, my favorite season. I recognize that all seasons have their specific work, whether we are talking about the seasons of the earth or the seasons of the human lifetime.


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