Time is always a strange thing to me. I experience time in two ways. There is clock time, which is linear. 2 o’clock is 2 o’clock, except of course when it’s 2 o’clock in Maine which means it’s 11 o’clock in California, and something all together different in Scotland or Australia, and I have no clue what it would be in Antartica, which is a place I imagine where time is a very different thing indeed. And then there is experiential time, meaning how one experiences time. This is subjective and can shift and change at any moment, and does quite often. Think about when we are really excited about something that it set to happen at 6 o’clock and how it can seem to take 6 hours to get to 6 o’clock, when, according to clock time, it is only 3 hours away. Our experience of time definitely changes as we get older. When we are children a day seems to go on forever, which is really different from when we are an adult and there never are enough minutes in a day to do the things that we want to do. I have always wondered how much the aging of our physical body and cells, influences our perception of time. As children are cells were growing and moving forward….as we grew….and as we move into old age, those cells arent growing and moving forward in the same way, but declining and deteriorating.
This time of year, Autumn, is one in which I notice how strange my experience of time is. It has this wobbly quality that isn’t congruent with how I move through the world. It moves slower and I move fast. This leaves me very out of sync feeling that I am always a bit ahead of myself - which I think is absolutely true, and leads to this incongruence with what I perceive and how I move. When I pull myself back a bit (like a horse’s reigns), and I can settle into that with agreement that this is what we are going to do now (too often my body is saying ok….let’s slow down while my mind is going “heck no…..there is just too much to do and figure out and think about!), I feel a sense of calm and congruence with everything going on around me. And I have spoken before of resonance, which I notice happens with the people in my close dynamics when I am in congruence with time. Basically everyone chills and calms the fuck down and we all fall into this flow that is aligned with the trees and the diminishing amount of daylight, and everyone just seems to function a lot better.
I also feel that time may move a bit differently in Autumn, because this is that liminal time, the time when our ancestors move a bit more into this side of the veil, and well…….they operate on a different time, Im certain. And the trees! In Autumn the trees become a primary focus with their changing colors and falling leaves….and we all know that trees have a very different experience of time than we do. (or at least they must and I am pretty sure you would know if you ever sat and had a conversation with a tree.)
Time in Autumn has a sort of interesting overlay for me that motion sickness does. When we are in a car and our body is sitting still, yet our visual experience is one of moving rapidly, it leads to an incongruence, which can lead to motion sickness. (And yes, there is more involved with that, but entertain my oversimplification for a moment.) We get all discombobulated because our visual perception is telling us we are moving very fast, (which is especially apparent when you are looking out the side windows from the backseat and everything is whooshing by at high speed) and yet our body is sitting perfectly still (well mostly, unless you are like me or a very small child who tends to fidget and wiggle and waggle quite a bit) it sends these mixed messages and we can get pretty wonky as a result.
I think the same thing happens at certain times of the year. Everything is slowing down, and if we are in a fast forward motion (which is really the energy of Spring and Summer) we are out of congruence with what we are actually perceiving before us, and we can get a little bit of “time sick”.....(which is a term I just made up, or at least I have never heard it before, and I think it sounds quite applicable and therefore I shall start including it in my vocabulary,....upon occasion…..especially in Autumn.)
So what do we do? We slow down. We watch what the trees are doing and we align more with that experience of time. We honor the moving into the season of hibernation, and we let some things go (but but but i really wanted to do this that and this and that……yes yes, I know……….and you can keep doing that for as long as you can and have fun with it…..OR you can stop and ponder on what nature is doing - at least in the northern hemisphere of the United States - and remember that we ARE nature and that we should probably fall in line with the rest of what it is doing, rather than think all of the things we HAVE to do are just more important than what the trees are doing….silly when it’s broken down like that, isn’t it?) and we slow down….just a bit…..and step more into the flow of experiential time.
Time is a weird and wonderful and mysterious thing……that I think it is best not to think about too much, but rather look around, observe, and come into coherence with. (and I almost never mean clock time….unless of course you have that special sometime to do at 6 o’clock on a Tuesday………..and days of the week are a whole other weird made up thing that just sometimes makes no sense outside the framework of a capitalistic society.)