My Southwestern Autumn Journey
Contributor

Multi-cultural Influences on My Autumnal Beliefs

I can’t deny the vast influence of Native American culture here in Tucson. Names of places, trees, plants and flowers pay tribute to the tribes that were here long, long before other peoples. Festivals, events, and exhibits teach lots more than I learned in school. The Red Road has become a helpful tool. Although this book has moved from bedside to living room table, to kitchen table (nighttime, daytime, and morning readings respectively), it’s still front and center.

The Red Road

“Autumn is a time of introspection, harvest, and thanksgiving. As the growing season ends, we look to the west, to the direction of sundown and know that the blackness of winter is coming. Use this time to reflect, to remember our past and those who crossed over before us. Autumn is also a time for sharing, for donating time and money to charity, and for forgiving those who need forgiveness. Set aside grievances and focus on tomorrow.”  ~365 Days of Walking The Red Road: The Native American Path to Leading a Spiritual Life Every Day

Pretty solemn words. Yet I have found it easy to use these words from The Red Roadwhen I’m feeling particularly concerned about someone or something, or recentering myself, or feeling particularly grateful for what has happened in the weeks or year past.

It’s been quite a year. I can almost visualize the ups and downs. I experienced several months of illness from shingles, lamented over the debilitating illnesses of friends, and mourned several friends who have crossed over. This led me to culturally expand my ideas about forgiveness, and God’s hand in life and death.

Focusing on the tomorrows. I cherish the photos sent by family and friends of the first days of kindergarten, third grade, middle school, and college. I’m thrilled to be a part of experiences with clients, sharing the joy as they begin to believe, “Yes I am a writer,” and the affirmation of having my own articles accepted in print. It can only get better.

Ho’oponopono

I added Ho’oponopono to my daily routine. This Hawaiian practice of forgiveness is teaching me to use a simple four-step mantra to “set things right.” ~ The Book of Ho-oponopono

Embracing the Sign

Marion Goldstein’s book, Embracing the Sign, nudged me to look at personal “coincidences” that occurred after friends died. As examples, what’s the connection, if any, of welcoming new babies to this world just before or after the deaths of friends? What made my deceased mother’s circle pin “turn up” after being lost for two years, and appearing the day before her birthday?

All this reminds me autumn is coming and there are harvests to come.

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place: A Memoir of Summer Comfort, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.

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