Nature beautifully transitions each season, moving from blossoming, maturing and brilliance, to letting go and going within. Fall, to me, is most magnificent with leaves of radiant gold, crimson, orange and rust. My office window overlooks the woods in the foothills of Northern California. Seasons transition in time with the music of the universe. This weekend, the wind and rain of late fall washed the leaves from the trees and cleared the air. Wildlife played their part, foraging the berries and foliage that remain.

In October, fires ravaged California. Some family and friends were forced to evacuate quickly. Elliot and I wondered what we would take with us if we were asked to evacuate on short notice. The deeper conversation: What really matters in this lifetime? What do we treasure? Our answer: relationships, memories, joy, health, imagination and wonder. The conversation moved us to reevaluate what we had, what we used and what we saved.

Wrapped and carefully closeted sat three quilts my great-grandmother hand stitched. Reacquainting myself with each one, I was awed by the detail and the love and effort that each contained. I gave two of them to my sister for her children. The third, now rests on the back of the couch to be admired and used on chilly evenings. A lightness came with the releasing of things squirreled away. Looking with new lenses, we corralled clothing, linens, appliances and more. After donating them, we felt freer—happier.

This holiday season, we’re rethinking gifts and sharing more experiences, time and love. We’re already feeling more relaxed and in the moment.

  • What really matters to you in this lifetime?
  • What do you treasure?
  • What are you saving for another day?

Consider nature’s cycle. Be like fall, be vibrant and let go!