Innisfree Spirit Ministry

Innisfree Moment Archive

September 2023

Autumn is a Second Spring

Autumn is a Second Spring

Listen to the audio version by Dorothy

Welcome back to Innisfree Moments in September, a month that I often think of as a new beginning when school classes and projects start again, and colourful leaves crunch under our feet. The words of this month's title are by French philosopher, Albert Camus (1913-1940), recipient of the 1957 Nobel prize in literature, and included in a Zen colouring book gifted by a friend.

First, how was your July and August? Did any of your intentions reach conclusion - those ones 'just waiting in the wings' for a clear day? Many of my projects did, but some are still waiting ... the intended keyboard theory lessons just didn't squeak in to top position, but have not been forgotten! I am content with the ones I did complete that, time-wise, fitted together like pieces of a jig-saw, including an entire family lunch and an overnight stay shared with my nephew during our visit to a friend's home on beautiful Galiano Island ... my first vacation since 2016.

Always, be gentle with yourself and acknowledge yourself for all that you did accomplish. Take heart from words I recall reading (source now forgotten) that the trees don't bemoan the loss of their leaves, for they know they will grow new ones in the spring and start anew ... and so can we ... just by setting new intentions.

An amazing discovery I made during my summer clearing marathon was a series of long-forgotten articles I had written back in 2006 for the monthly Hospice Volunteers' Corner newsletter. To launch our autumn Innisfree Moment, I include the highlights of one such article on a conference I attended in 1999, proving that some occasions in life never lose their rich experience, and remain True Then, True Today! May its message inspire you, as it did me, these many years later:

True Then, True today!

It was August 1999 at the "Power of Women" conference, billed as "one day that will change your life forever". There were 2500 people, mostly women, who paid a lot to attend. I had volunteered to assist and was lucky to be assigned to the main speakers hall, so heard most of the messages by powerful and successful women: Faith Popcorn, Anita Roddick (Body Shop), Gloria Steinem, Naomi Judd, Kathy Buckley, Mae Jemison (Astronaut). Diverse in their fields, single-minded in purpose, honest in their stories, they made us laugh and made us cry with their authentic and inspirational messages.

Reflecting on the entire conference while sitting on the bus going back to White Rock that evening, the powerful message of the day was two-fold: Two words were mentioned by each speaker in some form: "spirituality" and "choice" - choice of attitude.

Spirituality - that part of me that has the ability to choose my path based on my values, and to create a masterpiece that has nothing to do with my size, shape, personality, but comes through who I truly am at my core. Not only the domain of women, as one speaker quoted Ricky Martin, a young singer with millions of screaming fans, who when asked by Oprah, "what keeps you grounded", replied: "Spirituality is my medicine ... having my head and my heart together".

So, for me, the richness of the day was grounded in the personal re-examination and asking: what do I bring to the table, do I bring value to my family life, my friends, my work, my volunteering, and my community; do I honour myself, am I in touch with my inner strength, my spirituality, is my head and my heart together ... and remembering that my attitude is always my choice.

The timing of this message - written in August 1999, visited again in April 2006, rediscovered in July 2023, and now reprised for this September Innisfree Moment - is surely not a coincidence, at a time when I embark on taking the next steps on my Life journey. The Universe is indeed a wise and benevolent teacher. May it have its own personal message for you too.

Until we meet again through this medium in October, I wish you healthy and safe days ahead, rich blessings and clarity as you reflect on this time of 'Autumn's second Spring' with fresh eyes.

As always, thank you for journeying with me. Blessèd be! Namasté!

Dorothy B.
Dorothy B.

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Rev. Dorothy Blandford, Ph.D
Apt. 202 - 1655 Martin Drive
Surrey, BC, V4A 6E1, Canada