Thursday, September 16, 2021

Whispering Leaves


"Autumn is an artist who uses an oak leaf to paint a masterpiece"
                                                 ~ William Allen Ward

We sit at the edge of the Veil, leaves of every color dancing round in circles at our feet, a crisp nip in the air in the morning, the sun rising up later and lower each day.

It is finally my favorite time of year. I don't mind wearing a jacket when I go to town to shop: you can always take it off if you get too warm while doing errands, but you can only remove so much clothing to stay cooler in the heat of Summer.

I have said before that I am not a Summer person. No matter how much or how thickly I slather on sun block, I turn a bright, painful pink within the hour and feel like I'm frying-because I am. No tanning for this redhead! Thankfully I no longer freckle, but subsequent sun burns has left me with  a pesky spot or two of pre-cancerous skin lesions that have amounted to little more than a bother. Still, I am careful.

I love the dusky smell of fallen leaves that have turned crunchy, and damn it all, I do like the combination of ingredients that make up Pumpkin Spice. Not the commercial stuff : the blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger that you grind into fiery dust with  a mortar and pestal and use to flavor pies and quick bread. Mix a little in with ground coffee and make your own version of what cost $5.00 a cup at Starbucks. It's fresher, and the shot of spice will surprise you.

That same mixture can be sprinkled around your house, or stuffed in a sachet or used to dress a candle, because those spices ( sometimes along with mace and cloves) are protective. The afore mentioned spices all correspond to the element of fire and deities called upon for safeguarding home and hearth.

Mainstream healthcare finally acknowledges the bioactive and healing  properties  herbalists have known since antiquity. Herbs and spices like rosemary, sage, thyme and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, coriander, nutmeg, ginger, tumeric and mace (among others) are now being recognized for their polyphenol content ( Read up on it yourself, it's too complicated to list here. It's a rabbit hole, but you'll learn something if you do.) Ah, Science...

Back to those Autumn leaves that we love...

Did you know that the changing colors are a form of chromatherapy? The therapeutic use of color and light to balance the body's energy and vibration has been used for centuries. The vibrant colors of Autumn are a natural expression of this alternative form of healing... and it's free! Take a walk in the park or the woods among the varieties of colored leaves and see if it doesn't leave you revitalized and ultimately happier! The use of color has long been used to elevate mood and relieve anxiety.

We finally come to the part about the whispering leaves. The clamoring of leaves and branches in a soft breeze create "white noise" : the frequency of sound masks other distractions and leads to relaxation, much as the sound of rain, the ocean, and other sounds of Nature. ( And although I'm using the term "white noise" broadly here, frequencies of sound are actually matched to colors of light; for example, the sound of rain is technically  considered as "pink noise" by auditory experts-which I most certainly am not. You don't need to be an expert to understand the science/theory on a very basic level..)

If you have any thoughts on the Autumnal season, I'd love to hear them in the comments.