There’s a lovely song in the musical Camelot, where Lancelot sings to Guennifar that he could never leave her in Summer (Your hair streaked with sun-light,Your lips red as flame, Your face with a lustre that puts gold to shame!), nor in Autumn (I’ve seen how you sparkle, When fall nips the air. I know you in autumn, And I must be there.), nor in Winter (running merrily through the snow? Or on a wintry evening when you catch the fire’s glow?) nor, inevitably, in Springtime (If ever I would leave you, How could it be in spring-time? Knowing how in spring I’m bewitched by you so?). Lancelot concludes:
Oh, no! not in spring-time!
Summer, winter or fall!
No, never could I leave you at all!
Which is a long-winded way (have I any other?) of saying that there is no bad time to get to know your landbase. But, today, I’m going to make a case for Autumn.
Here in my landbase, the magical MidAtlantic, Summer can be a pretty brutal month to be outside. If you live here long enough, you can kind of get acclimated to the heat/humidity/bugs. During Victorian times, British civil servants posted to Columbia’s District used to get extra pay for the tropical conditions, just as did those posted to equatorial stations. But Summer is the season most likely to make us chuckle that the only problem with nature religions is nature.
Winter, too, can be a difficult month for those of us who want to be outside. It’s cold, grey, often snowy or icy, and, even when there’s a thaw, Winter in D.C. can be muddy, posing the risk of broken hips or ankles for old women.
And, so, that leaves Spring and Autumn. My advice: go outside in Autumn. You can see the fruits, the results, the growth of everything and you can watch it die. Often, at this time of year, mist will wrap the land, making it unmistakably clear how magic everything is. And, developing a relationship with the land in Autumn will set you up perfectly to go outside again in Spring and see if you can find the same plant and watch it come alive. To go outside in Spring and see what that same patch of Earth does when the Sun begins to energize it. To go outside in Spring and see how that same liminal patch of pond-edge or river-bank or swamp-land slips slowly from brown to green.
Whether you are a new Pagan, just looking to being a magical relationship to your landbase, or an experienced old Witch, looking, here, while the veils are thin, to renew you connection to the Earth, go out and see the Earth sparkle, when Fall nips the air. If you’ve seen it in Autumn, then you must be there.