While all the seasons have their magnificence, autumn has a particular artistry, as attention to form, structure, details is called upon the observer. In autumn I see the trees in their structural forms. The skeletons of plants and flowers reveal their previously unseen beauty. I see the mountain from my window which this summer was hiding behind a leafy ash tree. The distraction of vegetation is gone and a mountain, a rock, a neighbor’s house are able to be seen in this moment. What I now contemplate has changed.
It is deep autumn
How does he live, I wonder.
The element of Metal, occurring now in autumn, is about stripping down to the essentials, as we descend into the darkness of yin, leaving the light of yang. There is a mourning, melancholy quality, as insects, birds and animals retreat, the leaves wither and dry, falling to earth, and the planet “dies” until visions of Spring summon it all back. While there is a grieving over what is departing, there is a concomitant appreciation for all the temporal beauty. You only mourn what you once deeply loved.
As we turn the light inwards and descend into the darkness, it is a time to reflect on what we hold precious and valuable. Take in the inspiration. Our biological lungs, with its bronchi, bronchioles, and sub-microscopic alveoli, have a surface area larger than a tennis court! We have this bountiful capacity to take in air, oxygen and qi. So too does each individual have this bountiful capacity to take in inspiration.
Metal is about living in and with structures – not rigidly to imprison us, but helping us maneuver the chaotic details of life, giving form to art, alignment in our daily lives and focus as we manifest our goals. As you go through your day, direct your precise attention to structures that surround you – in nature, in human-made objects, in your daily life. Immerse yourself in the details – God(dess) is in the details, as the saying goes (and is paraphrased here!).