As we rethink wealth and pay more attention to the sources of our wealth rather than the symbols of it (money), we start to notice how the seasons nourish wealth. We start to pay attention to the richness and the unique gifts that each season brings. September is different from August and different from October.
I recently went for a meandering hike on the Chehalem Ridge. It was so beautiful! I drank in the woods. There was a chipmunk eating a fern leaf and he just watched me, clinging to his tree trunk not three feet away. My soul felt like a parched one who had finally found a cool spring of pure water. It was sunny and warm with a breeze and a few dry leaves crunching underfoot. Quintessential September.
And I learned something. In the woods, September is a moment of rest. The vigorous growth of spring and the busy production of summer are over. The seed pods have burst, the grasses are dry, the flowers are spent. Yet the busyness of fall has not yet begun. The leaves are still green and full on the trees. Everything is at rest, waiting. Maybe it’s a moment of reflection.
Ironically, in the human world September is a flurry of activity. School is starting, summer is over, vacations are finished. It’s back to work.
Taking a Pause
When does the human world reflect? Is our busyness inherent in human society? Or is it just inherent in Western commercial society? If we lived with the land instead of on top of it, would there actually be a reflective quality to everything we do?
As I return to the natural areas and to the quiet, it feels like we need time to reflect.
And yet, we had that. COVID kept us home. We stopped. But did we actually look at our society and choose our path forward? Or have we just bounced back to what we were doing before?
I keep thinking about September and what an extraordinary time this season is. It’s the transition. The days are still sunny and warm, but there’s a coolness to the breeze and the nights can be chilly. It’s delicious.
And yet it’s busy.
But maybe there’s a moment to notice here. Like that first delicious bite of a crunchy apple. It’s different from a peach. Summer fruit is soft and juicy—peaches, plums, berries and melons. Fall fruit is crisp and crunchy—apples and pears.
Maybe September gives us a moment to pause in the busyness and just take a breath. Feel the sunshine. Breathe the air. Savor this moment—this beautiful golden hour at the edge of the season.
Community Wealth Inventory
What kinds of wealth do you see in your community? Here's one way to think about our sources of wealth:
What is your neighborhood's "well-being wealth"?
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