The First Snow

The city grows still, save the snowfall.

Did it really grow still?  People staying

inside, burrowing in with their

coffee and the paper?  Or does

the snow absorb the hum of the city

into its cells?  Making certain this

moment is honored with silence?

Birds flit and fly.

Snowflakes alight on my

eyebrows.  And the stillness is a balm

from which I hope to never

emerge.  But I will.

Tomorrow’s forecast — slushy rain,

the swoosh of tires on wet

streets, the bustle resumed.

So I take this moment.

Except I can’t really take it,

as it isn’t mine to take,

but is its own magnificent

sovereignty I am merely

allowed the privilege of tasting,

however fleeting.

Threnody for a Leap Year: An American Story

Before 2020 even arrives
I claim for all to hear that it will be an auspicious year
One for the books
This is my modern habit
Claim it and it becomes truth
Or as the proponents of this idea say
It’s already truth and just awaiting your agreement
Clever that one
Whenever I am at the end of my tether
I cling to clever mystical ideas
A milestone birthday
I am now the same age as the year I was born
And a leap year to boot
A virtual bonanza of numerological magic
Too luscious not to play with
Life has felt stifled for so long
I make ridiculous claims
Not even certain I believe
But more than willing to be loud
A coming move
A new town
Breathing room to be artful
To recover health and spirit
Say it loud and the world is yours
An unapologetic child’s belief in magic
Where not much else matters but my own contentment

And then an entire planet folds in on itself
A dying star in the midst of my own brilliant intersection of stars
I find myself positing with spit that the only use for a Klan hood
Is to operate as a medical mask
Keep your damn ‘Rona to yourself, Jed!
A snark not nearly so cutting once I read of
A man in San Diego who did just that
For years I felt alien to my own race
A terrible affliction
Today I thrust fist into air and shout about Black Lives
Can’t NOT see my siblings’ necks under that knee
Blood seeping from tear ducts like plastic Jesus tchotchkes
On the corner for $1.89 but you can always bargain
The threat of extinction nearer than the sun bleeding through
Raggy human-stained ozone threads
When the phalanx of law enforcement swarms protestors
And I watch from the safety of my flat screen
And am more fixated on social distancing than the power of protest
My brain seizes the way a computer freezes and needs a moment to untangle
When death comes and keeps coming
A party crasher breaking the furniture and pissing on the carpets
When the pulverized bones of Black Lives
By lynch mobs and those enlisted To Protect and To Serve
Are blown by a restless wind
And the powder gusts and gathers
As airborne as this virus
Dusting like topsoil the heads of a system committed to its status quo
Because we’ve led with privilege and hubris
A ghost town will be erected in the place where
Equitable society tried in futility to exist

And as pandemic-age babies are born
From mothers who risk safety to be in hospitals
And fathers not even allowed in delivery rooms
Into the collective terror of a country now pariah to the rest of the world
They will possess the ancestral coding to one day thrust
Arms wide and take hold this earth
Wresting it from a generation that did not deserve it
Wild hearts that will make whole again soil and sky and oxygen and humanity
They will claim it audaciously
An unapologetic child’s belief in magic

I skim back over the words of this hope
But can’t find its pulse without losing breath
And the very thought feels an insult to the memory of
George and Eric and Elijah
I gear up    strap on    and start my way through an untilled jungle
Ready to be one in the revolution
Even leaning in just a bit for the rending of thorns against bare arms
The lighting of the match

Auspicious indeed
May I never turn back

Author Note: The year isn’t even over, yet I’ve been compelled to write a thought anyway; not so much a year-end review, as I’ve tended to do in the past, but a nagging expression that needed to find some paper quick. 2020 was/is a Leap Year. From a numerological standpoint, Leap Day, February 29, is known in many spiritual communities as being one of awakening and spiritual enlightenment. My own awakening is still in the yawning and stretching stage, but a shift has most definitely occurred. My very last public singing performance (I do/did this for a living) was on Leap Day, before the world went and got itself into a bit of a pandemic. And — perhaps poetically — I sang the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water” with the Metropolitan Master Chorale. The whole year so far feels nearly impossible to express what I find painful and inexpressible. But poetry is healing. And healing, poetry.

Six Murals and a Book Shelf

On September 5, 2020, six Black Lives Matter street murals were painted on six streets across the breadth of Kansas City, Missouri, to raise crucial awareness of the newest upsurge in police brutality and racially motivated violence against people of color in the U.S. Six murals, designed by six Black artists. Art and activism beautifully intersecting. Sponsored by KC Art on the Block, the Troost Market Collective, the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, and the City of Kansas City, MO, this multi-location happening was an inspiring community call-to-action. Here is what I was able to capture of this magnificent event. It was, at times, searing, loving, powerful, and sobering.

I recently moved from Los Angeles to Kansas City, the first move of this kind that I’ve ever made. My love affair with my new town seems to be unfolding one magnificent petal at a time, as the specter of Covid still lurks, and, yes, it was a very strange time to make such a move. And because of that, is it EVER taking its sweet, skillful time to unfold for me. Even showing me just how unskillful I can sometimes be. Life lessons. Firm but gentle. A loving parent.

So, for just a moment, keep my Black Lives Matter trek from last week in mind, as I tell you this other story.

Years ago, I read a very fun article about the “Most Unique Buildings In the Country.” One of those buildings featured in the article was a public library (honestly, years later, I couldn’t remember which city this was in; I just powerfully remembered the building). This library was built (or perhaps painted) like a giant book shelf of literary classics. To Kill a Mockingbird. Fahrenheit 451. The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Huckleberry Finn. Dickens, Kafka, Zora Neale Hurston, Lao Tzu, Langston Hughes, etc. A unique work of art. I always swore I’d visit this building one day.

Let’s now go back to last weekend, September 5th. When I got home from this incredible day, this incredible intersection of art and activism, I was excited to get all my photos and video files uploaded into my computer, so I could make the little docu-short above. I was moved to share this experience with others. I’m not a filmmaker, but I do love making little shorts with my phone and some editing software.

As I was going through all the footage, there came a moment when I suddenly saw THE BUILDING. In my footage. Right there in front of the very first Black Lives Matter mural I visited that day. I gasped audibly. And experienced one of those moments I always deeply cherish; being filled with absolute wonder at gifts randomly given. But I was also just as eye-rolling and critical of my own stunning unconsciousness.

I had been standing right in front of the damned thing, but was SO focused and singular on what I was there to see that I never even looked up to notice this landmark building literally towering over me, creating symbolic shade on this art installment, and me. Nor had I had any remembrance from years before that Kansas City had been where this landmark was.

I have never slapped my forehead so proverbially hard in my life. For years now (especially as a writer), I have prided myself on being a keen observer. Well, as they say: “If it was a snake….”

So, that has got to win some kind of award for DUH Story of the Year.

At least I now get the pleasure, the utter honor, to re-frame my new city in my brain as not only being host to these extraordinary events and being a part of the solution instead of the problem, but it is also the home of my favorite landmark building, and is only ten minutes from where I live. I am truly blessed!

That is, if I can remember to keep my eyes open, and my tank full.

Oh yeah, and Black Lives Matter.


Spiritual Algorithm: A Prescription for This Age of Pandemic


Navigating the murky waters of life is a job with tenure.  All the money and station in the world won’t reprieve us from the task.  Below are 9 simple practices that can mean the difference between the grind of life (or even the blunt interruption of that grind) and truly living.  Costs nothing.  Big Pharma has no equity in THIS medicine.


  1. Turn away from the anxiety-fueling news programs that litter television and the Internet.

Just refuse them.   They are designed for one agenda only —— to whip us into a distracted frenzy, and by virtue weaken us and our pocketbooks at the seams, because having an entire culture in panic mode is profitable, and is never about being in the public’s interest.  Find your news through more legitimate sources.  Do the homework needed to figure out who and what those are.  Information is valuable and crucial; hysteria never is.


  1. Read for pleasure.

As a writer I want to encourage books. I want to encourage good books.  I want to encourage literature.  But hey, read a magazine, just read —— for pure enjoyment and expansion.  And try as often as possible to do it outside the digital and electronic universe.  Kindle and iBooks are both fun and convenient, but don’t let them be your exclusive source for reading.  The brain needs a good chunk of quality time every day to be removed from electromagnetic energy and social media, and to be reminded of the world of imagination and connection that does exist beyond our digital screens.


  1. Meditate.  OR . . .

…at the very least find a way to simply be in silence and stillness for a few minutes every day.  The more minutes a day you can find in that quiet, the better able you will be to heed the inner voice, and the better everything will be.  Guaranteed!   Consider a wonderful memoir by Sara Maitland on her experiment of withdrawing from the world in pursuit of silence.  There is a whole world of discussion to be had on the topic and its impact on a society, and which is utterly fascinating.  For now, for this, simply allow yourself a few minutes each day to power everything down.   And listen.


  1. Connect with Higher Power.

This term has as wide a berth as the ocean, so even the most ardent atheist can find his or hers.  Something that is greater than your pedestrian self and has something to teach you, offer you, feed you. Maybe it’s the Collective Unconscious. Maybe it’s your own higher consciousness, which exists in every human, usually buried beneath all the traumas and dysfunctions, but there, just ripe and ready to guide us, if we’re keen to do some unearthing.  Maybe it’s nature.  Maybe it’s the source within.  Or a source out there. Maybe it’s simply goodness.  It will show up differently for every individual on the planet yet is that unquantifiable something that maneuvers us around the land mines and connects us to each other.  There is no need to affix a label; simply be with it.  Find yours, and plug in regularly.


  1. Create, even if you’re not an artist.

“Artist” is merely a label.  We all have creativity and imagination within us, and it can show up in the most unexpected cloak, which is usually how it works anyway.  Feed it. Allow it to feed you.  Have fun with it.  The benefits to soul are untold.  In this time of quarantine, and out.


  1. Be a child again (closely linked to the above, and which is not the same as being child-ISH).

There has been so much obligation, commitment, management, planning, and fortune-making that has governed our adult lives that we can easily allow it to collapse our spirits.  Easy to get so caught up in building the life of our dreams that we forget to actually live the life of our dreams.  These mandated lockdowns and Stay at Home orders have forced us to slow down, whether we’ve wanted to or not.  As a result, some truly profound epiphanies have been had from the many about the lives they’d been living before this pandemic.  So, every once in a while let it all go, and do what children do. Precisely because we are presently in the state of severance, throw Zoom parties. Live-stream living room performances for friends.  Stage social distancing drive-by parades. Play dress-up to come to the dinner table.  The ideas are endless.  The point, to play fiercely and with release and abandon.

The flipside of that same spirit … do nothing.  The Italians have a delicious term for it —— dolce far niente —— literally translated as the “sweetness of doing nothing.” They have raised it to an art, but in our ambition-worship culture we have stamped the label of shame onto it.  We do not need to be in the constant state of planning, producing, and consuming.  Precisely because of this pandemic, we are in trauma.  We are in grief.  You are okay to not be okay.  So, take the pressure off.  Smile at nothing.  Sit and gaze.  Daydream.  Decompress.  It is the crucial yin to our Everest-conquering yang.


  1. Be in nature.

Communing with creatures beyond our pets and other humans, moving among the wise old trees, strolling along a shore, recognizing the cruciality of taking care of the earth, this is what it means to be in nature.  For the time being, but not forever, our access to beaches and nature trails has been limited by the necessity for flattening the curve of this virus.  Even so, it is possible to snag ourselves a little bit of nature every day.  Put on your protective mask, walk outside your door, and you are in it.  Even in the city.  Just walk, and marvel at the sky (cleaner these days than ever before with fewer cars on the roads).  Equal parts meditation and exercise, being in the nature right outside our door can open the heart chakra and shift our receptor paradigm to receiving or, perhaps and more pointedly, feeling worthy of blessings.  It increases our ability to see that blessings are flying all around us like gnats.  And it’s not only the stuff that feels like blessings.  It’s even the stuff (or people) we consider the opposite, because every encounter serves as a teacher —— and may actually be where the real gold lies. Wait, what? All this from observing flowers and trees?  Oh, yes.  Until our beautiful beaches and glorious canyon trails can safely reopen, even the smallest patch of garden or that duck pond in the neighborhood can be that salve and conduit.  Nature is quite remarkable at showing up anywhere and opening the vessel within for our daily access.


  1. Create a daily gratitude ritual . . .

…particularly during this coronaspell of death, sickness, fear, and the loss of “normal,” when it’s harder to see blessings.  It can be a prayer, a journal log, a mantra, a meditation.  Even in the various periods of my life of not feeling especially grateful, I, for example, always found such beauty in the tradition of blessing one’s food.  What a lovely idea to express out loud our thankfulness for the bounty on our plates, and for not taking a meal for granted but cherishing it for what it gives us, especially considering how many don’t have this luxury. Now, imagine employing that gratitude practice with everything.  Just imagine.


And finally . . .



  1. Be of service.

From sewing and dispensing face masks, to surprise drop-offs of groceries at someone’s door, to making food for the homeless, to outreach calls, this Age of Pandemic has shown what people are made of, and that it isn’t only the front-liners who are able to be of service to the community.  We all have the ability to be there for others, whether an individual or our community at large.  Service is the most restorative unguent there is for self-absorption or for trying to find meaning in a world that often seems senseless and cruel, especially in these strange days.  Maybe you aren’t struggling with that.  Many are.  Pandemic or no, this might just be the single most potent go-to for establishing or recovering ourselves as persons of value on the planet…

and within.







Angela Carole Brown is the author of Bones, Aleatory on the Radio, Viscera, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and the 2018 North Street Book Prize-winner for Literary Fiction, Trading Fours. She has also produced several albums of music and meditation.  Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Goodreads, Amazon Author, & Bandcamp.



A Good Day (Reminiscence on a First Anniversary)



As we are all finding our footing in 2020 — a numerological symmetry and auspiciousness that makes me insist on calling this the new decade, in spite of the many, many, MANY Facebook posts admonishing that “the new decade actually begins next year, dammit!” — I have been looking back on 2019, and trying to decide what I have to say about it, as are our New Year penchants and reflective natures. And as it’s been awhile since I’ve fed and watered this blog, I’ve been especially searching for a worthy reminiscence to wax forth about. 2019 was actually a pretty opportune year for me, releasing three new published works and planning a game-changing relocation, to name a couple, so there are actually a number of things that could be reminisced.  Here’s the one I’ve chosen to reflect on.

On the afternoon that I learned I’d won a book award (I received the news exactly a year ago today, January 18, but wasn’t allowed to say anything publicly until announcement day, a whole month later), I had just left a meeting, and had hunkered down at an Indian food restaurant that had become my weekly lunch ritual. I sat alone as I always did, in a kind of comfort I found in very few other places. A meal alone. Unengaged in a conversation the way everyone else in the cafe was most definitely engaged, and feeling just a little bit haughty about that. Like I was really especially cool for entertaining a good book instead. The only thing that marred that chest-risen thought was the fact that I was actually on my phone doing the deed of most modern-day people with any amount of time to themselves, scrolling the Facebook newsfeed for the good-fortune posts of my friends and the inevitably disarming jealousy that wracks the soul of a good old-fashioned self-loather like myself. Or browsing Twitter to see who’s saying what about You Know Who. Or placing about the 20th item in my Amazon cart. One of these days I’m gonna get an email that says “either press buy or f*ck off!” The good book I was presently inside of was sitting to the side of me on the booth seat, abandoned for more transient pleasures and curiosities, so just how haughty could I really be?

I opened up my email, and saw only the first words in the subject heading from Winning Writers, an online writer’s resource for independent authors and book award host, which had informed me earlier in the week that I was a finalist for their 2018 book award for my novel Trading Fours, which had actually come out several years before, but this was a unique book award that did not care how old a book was that they felt deserved awarding.  The words I saw, before opening the email full stop were, “Congratulations. You’re a first prize winner….”

I don’t know that I can do that moment justice.  Let’s start from much earlier.  In the day?  No.  In my incredibly blessed but consistently frustrated life.  I am not a person who wins things.  I had managed to get myself safely to the age of almost-60, and had known a very decent life as a working musician.  But in my 30-something years at the task I had barely gotten my foot in the door (bruised and bloodied from the many tries) that most of my colleagues who came up in the business with me had.  Neither had I ever managed a book deal, though I went through two agents in the years past, unsuccessfully trying to sell this manuscript or that.  Momentary sidebar:  I recently sent an apology letter to a friend, who had asked for my writer’s advice, as she is writing her first book.  I was unhelpful, and I needed to acknowledge that to her.  I explained that part of the problem was my own (at times) inability to value my own gifts.  What I know for sure is that there is an army of little devils that routinely shows up to battle me.  And the members of that army look like: the absence of a book deal; my inability to get pieces placed in the multitude of journals I submit to; rejection after rejection after rejection.  This army doesn’t always win the battles against me, but it does often enough.

I can get into poor-me mode pretty easily, and I see it wanting to move in that direction even as I type this, so let me redirect.  The truth is, I’ve always chosen (or created) material, directions, inspiration, and content that would never pass the commercial muster.  In that way, I’ve been stunningly stubborn, and even a little arrogantly self-assured that my time and my voice, unique at its worst and perhaps something else altogether at its best, will have its day.  So, I’ve been fully aware of the sacrifices that come with not playing a game by its rules.  Still….it has always been tempting to regret my choices when I see the world stages that my friends are on with this mega star or another.  Or the TV gigs, and appearances on the Oscars or the Tonys.  It’s awfully tempting.  And then I have to remember to breathe, to keep doing my spiritual work, and to get still.

I swear to you, getting still is the only way into divine channels.  The only way to answers. (BTW, it’s me I’m swearing to.  Me I keep needing to remind and remind daily).

I continued to eat my delicious Indian food, while texting my sister and my roommate the amazing news.  My sister called me instantly, and I took the call even though I was in a restaurant that’s quiet like a library.  I cried.  She cried.  I wasn’t loud.  I’m way too concerned about proper public behavior for that.  But burying my head in the table and nearly in my plate, my sister and I had a whispered conversation of “oh my god!”s.  My roommate, who has also been my dearest friend for 45 years, had just defended her dissertation the day before, and was officially a doctoral recipient.  She texted me in response to my news, “I guess that makes us the power couple!” followed by the laughing emoji.  Once I finished alerting my inner circle, I just sat, trying to finish my meal in between tears and giggles, each of which just kept popping up.

When I left the cafe, I drove over to the neighborhood bookstore to buy a Mary Oliver book.  It had already been my plan even before discovering that this day was about to be literary-themed, and triumphant.  I’d learned about this magnificent poet only a month before, on Christmas Day when I was at my dear friend Barbara’s house for Christmas Dinner and her annual reading.  Guests are encouraged to bring something to read.  Anything.  Something of your own, if you’re a writer.  Or from the works of established writers, if you’re not.  It’s just a rare literary salon old-fashioned-ness in my life that I annually cherish.  And a man at the gathering whom I knew only peripherally had read a most enchanting Mary Oliver verse that evening.  Everyone in the room seemed to know who she was but me.  I was instantly mesmerized, couldn’t believe I’d missed this beauty all these years, and then Mary Oliver died less than a month later.

I tend to do this to writers.  On the day I bought my first-ever copy of Catcher In the Rye, the news of JD Salinger’s death came the very next day.  No kidding.  These weird literary, death-centered synchronicities just seem to be a part of me, and I’m tempted to consider myself an awful witch with powers I wield so carelessly in my enthusiasm for words that I scare the poor composers of those words right out of this life.

As I think about my unintended curses on America’s preeminent wordsmiths, and my irresistible euphoria over being essentially told, by the news of this book prize, that I am indeed a wordsmith too, and should be lucky to be so heralded away to Heaven by some overzealous fan’s love of me and careless curse, I find myself laughing out loud in the parking lot of Barnes & Noble at my insane brain’s delicious follies about how it all works.

I felt a connection with Ms. Oliver on that day, an intimacy that broke me into tears of joy repeatedly before the sun set on January 18, 2019.  Somehow I didn’t want the day to end.  Because I just don’t tend to have those kinds of days.  News of accolade and acknowledgment.  And then communing with poets I hope to soak into my own writer’s veins, telling me that I don’t even have to be good; I only need to let the soft animal of my body love what it loves.  Thank you Mary.  That may just be the clearest lesson I needed to learn that day, and apparently still, as I navigate this life just trying to be heard.  Thank you Mary Oliver.   Thank you Winning Writers.  Thank you world.  For your unintended curses and gifts.

It was a good day.


photo by Hannah Wei





Angela Carole Brown is the author of Bones, Aleatory on the Radio, Viscera, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and the 2018 North Street Book Prize-winner Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and meditation.  Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.


My Myriad Miracles of Mankind


I love my friends who are fierce kings and queens.
I love my friends who struggle with their self-worth.


I love my friends who are artistic lions.
I love my friends who are proud tech-heads and science gurus.
I love my friends who are still searching for their mantle,
or are wrestling with creative malaise.


I love my friends who are kicking ass and taking names.
I love my friends who choose a quieter, unassuming, humbled life,
or whose lives have chosen that for them.


I love my friends who are deeply spiritual vessels of love and light and warriorship in the name of peace, and are meditative badasses.
I love my friends who claim no spiritual path but believe in self-will, intellectual reason, and empirical evidence.


I love my friends who are as keen as whips.
I love my friends who haven’t been exposed to much in the world, and have innocence.


I love my friends who can rock some serious fashion.

I love my friends who could give two shits about fashion.


I love my friends who are blissful in their romantic relationships.

I love my friends who are struggling in theirs.

I love my friends who are happy in their solitude, singlehood, and autonomy.

I love my friends who are lonely and desirous of finding love.


I love my friends who see and seek only light and positivity.

I love my friends who see value in the caves and the darker recesses.


I love my friends who find life in traveling the world.

I love my friends who find life in digging deep in the earth and taking root.


I love my friends to whom I have insights to impart.

I love my friends who have a thing or two to teach me.


I love my friends who don’t even know the brilliant power of their youth.

I love my friends who brilliantly embrace their wrinkles and their road.


I love my friends who have taken robes.

I love my friends who have cast robes aside.
Making way for revolution.

Making room for new growth.

Making mountains from molehills, and molehills from mist.

Making magic from mystery, and manna from the myriad miracles of mankind.


I love my friends, my myriad miracles of mankind.





Photo by Tyler Nix

The Swarm of Painted Ladies


The swarm of Painted Ladies

showered me unexpectedly.


A baptism.

A cleansing.

Carrying with them, in their spiritual lightness and artful wings,

the flutter of renewal, restoration and redemption.

Some have said their early migration is global-warming-induced.

It’s a thought that lends a sadness to this unexpected christening

I received upon their arrival.

Though, for me,

a girl with campaigns launched left and right these days toward

wellness and soul tending,

a girl awfully in love with finding angels and symbols

in every nook and under every rock,

too early couldn’t’ve been more

right on time.

Love Letter To His New Donor (a summoner’s aubade)


Dearest friend,

May I call you this? We’ll soon both be
members of a cherished club,
and as such I feel, already, a kinship.
As I write this, the mouths of the
purple morning-glories beyond my window
are achingly gaped,
singing your praises I like to think,
knowing you are coming,
and the sun is brilliant, almost white,
on this late-winter morning
after a week of sunless rain.
You are coming. This I know.
And I feel hope, which scares me some.

I am grateful and sad. I think we both know why,
and there is enough disappointment in myself
without continuing to reinvigorate it
with words.  I ask only this:
Walk deliberately toward it.
Trip and fall, if it comes to it, but take no prisoners, least of all him.
Expose panties. Jump back up. Make a joke out of the spill,
scrappy like I know you must be.
Then keep on stepping high.
Keep him in gentle accord.
Keep yourself there too.
Above all, breathe. The dark nights for both of you
will soften their edges, and the morning-glory
will yawn again each dawn to remind you that you are as glorious.
Send me a postcard from beyond the moon.
I hung out there myself once.
We’ll regale together this love supreme that
keeps us all rallying for one another.


PLEASE visit  and do a girl a solid.


An Autumn Thought


Here we are in autumn. A new season is upon us, bringing with it all of the festivities that surround this time of year. It is a time of harvest (after the summer fruits) where we are guided to be grateful for the seeds that have been sewn. Spiritually speaking, it is a time to acknowledge abundance as our natural state of being. And as you do, I would like to suggest the idea of abundance not as a concept of the acquisition of things and of currency, but as a committed spiritual state of already and always having all we need, and BEING right where we are meant to be.

This is also the time of year when the days grow shorter, the nights grow longer, and the dark, as a conceptual and symbolic idea, reigns. From Hallow’s Eve, to Dia de los Muertos, to Celtic Samhain ceremonies, this is the season when tradition after tradition pulls the veil down between life and death so that we can convene with and honor those who’ve left this realm.

Contrary to mainstream and pop culture belief, and also just as a gentle reminder, the dark is not a negative spiritual energy. The dark is the time of inner reflections, of going within and taking inventory of our lives. A time of examining our own inner darkness hiding within us, the shadows. The shadows are there for us to explore and to learn from, so that we can honor every aspect of our journey, and then from it… to reflect, rebalance and recalibrate. Listen to your shadows. Never shoo them away or try to bury them. They have a thing or two to teach us … always.

The good news is that dark is always followed by light. And because of the truth and beauty of impermanence, light will be followed by dark again, and on, and on, as we consciously link our awareness to nature’s cycles, and as the understanding of our own cycles begins to deepen.

The truth of autumn is here. And with it, the strength and resolve in each of us to manifest a powerful, lights off, inward-turning self-excavation, a nurturing of soul, a reaping of the bountiful harvest, and a relaxation into our spiritual state of abundance.

And as autumn moves into winter, and the dark begins to stretch even longer, let us linger for a moment on a beautiful quote by the writer and philosopher Albert Camus: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”