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Why autumn is a time to appreciate life's blessings

By Joseph Pond

At this time of year, as the trees burst into colour, I can’t help thinking about the autumns I spent in Japan meditating at the local Zen temple. In Japan, a big deal is made of this time of year and it is traditional to organise picnics and nature walks.

Many villages still hold koyo, or ‘red leaf’, festivals.

It was explained to me that the fall is so important because it’s a perfect reminder of how short life is and an opportunity to stop and appreciate its beauty.

Just as an autumn leaf is unable to cling to the tree forever, so too do we have to let go and release ourselves into the current of time.

In short, the reddening of the leaves offers a perfect metaphor for what it is to be mindful and accepting of the present moment.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my good friend’s mother’s death. He told me how when his mother died he tried to practice acceptance.

He closed his eyes and said, “Yes and thank you,” to the universe for his mother’s passing. It felt wrong, like he was betraying her. So instead he said, “Yes, and thank you,” for her life. He remembered everything she was and said, “Yes...thank you.”

Then, he went back and again thanked the universe for her passing, and for the beauty of the human story that her death was part of. As he spoke to me yesterday it was with love, appreciation and a smile that he remembered his mother. He said that accepting his mum’s death — as hard as that had been — means that even today when he gathers with his siblings the contrast is stark. In a sense, they’re still saying, ‘No’, he told me.

In your own life right now things may be tough. I’m humbled by the stories of difficulty that I hear on a daily basis.

I’d like to suggest that autumn can be a reminder that the passing of time is beautiful. Say ‘yes’ and ‘thank you’ to God, the universe and/or your loved ones. Squirrels gather nuts.

I invite you to gather your blessings.

  • Joseph Pond is a clinical hypnotherapist, an acupuncturist, and a mindfulness instructor. He is co-founder of Hypnosis Explorers NI and conducts workshops in hypnosis with PowerTrance. Reach him at or at Hypnosis/?ref=hl/?ref=hl

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