Returning to the Earth

If you live with deciduous trees, then late autumn is a time of shifting energy. When there are buds, leaves and other growth, trees are very sky orientated. Being amongst trees will tend to take your attention up into the canopy. What you see of trees from a distance will be dominated by their furthest reaches into the air. In summer, leaves are drawing energy from the sun, the tree is interacting with this energy in very literal ways.

Once the leaves start falling, that process will take your attention downwards. That might be in watching leaves come from the treetops and head for the soil. If you walk in fallen leaves, then the sound and texture of them may draw your attention downwards. Also, given how good fallen leaves are at hiding surprise poo, puddles and potholes looking down carefully is often a good idea! As the leaves come down, energy from the tree – energy that was in the sky – held in leaves grown from sunlight – is returning to the earth, where that energy will be released into the soil.

Winter exposes the roots. With undergrowth tending to die back, it can be a good deal easier to see the base of a tree in winter. Again, this shift tends to draw our attention and we may become more aware of trees as rooted beings, going down deep into the soil.

Autumn tends to be fungus season. In woodland this means that we get to see something of the life beneath the soil. Fungi live in vast networks, interacting with tree roots. Much of the life of a wood happens beneath the surface, where we can’t see it. The appearance of fungi in the autumn is a reminder of what’s there all year round. It’s easier to think about things and be aware of them when there’s some more tangible sign of them, and the fungi give us that.

It’s normal to talk about life pulling down into the Earth during the winter, but important to have a more specific awareness of what that means. Tree life certainly is more earth orientated at this time of year. Each living thing responds to the seasons in its own way. For the migrating swans, early winter is all about the skies and making huge journeys guided by the stars. For amphibians, the season can be all about retreating into water to hibernate. There is no one single, simple energy narrative for any given season.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “Returning to the Earth

  • garycohenblog

    From a person who loves the woods I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks.

  • emberbear

    Seconded. I have been enjoying standing under trees and watching the leaves fly in the wind.

  • eberis

    hi . I know you support urbana of druid2 and ask you form an opinion on a drastic failure of peace that occurred with the game company Wizards of the Coast and a mention of mixed genre of music and games which led to in fact terrorism . I am a counter terrorin and believe in free will [(…)] it is not proper in lutherena to support the multi-genre … similar to tobacco not being accepted in public display of music . we have been through a trial of terror and the domestic terrorists still occur at music and games . I am glad your tai chi instructor is focusing on a Sphere of Nature . Nature is good for you . in ethic I avoid it but I enjoy it if the powers that be depletion of the value of assurance didn’t take from me what I want is global peace now . thank you . I hope this made sense to you without pretense of a sic valu of mannala circumspect , etcetera . Peace to you . happy autumn .

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