By Nick Meima
“Sit. Feast on your life.” – Derek Walcott, from the poem “Love after Love”
In my community in Colorado, the following “harvest ritual” has been practiced for many years at this time of the year. I’m eager to make the circle widen to include readers ofSpirituality & Health and invite you to make this celebration of life your own to enjoy.
The Harvest Ritual
It has been said that each of us has been seeded with meaning and purpose. The purpose of this ritual is to bring consciousness to where your time and energy is spent. At least once a year, make this ritual part of your discernment process. You are here for a purpose. Are you fulfilling that purpose? What part of tending your “garden” has been conscious, and creative—in alignment with your purpose? What seeds that you have planted are bearing fruit? Which “plants” needs to be weeded, or branches pruned to yield a good harvest? What “produce” does not serve because it will not ripen, or is now past its prime, or is too blemished?
This ritual gives you an opportunity to consciously find the seeds that need to be planted for a nourishing, supportive year.
First, evaluate the following categories:
- What are the relationships/friendships where you have found mutuality and support?
- Where have you fallen short of your goals, and where have you achieved or exceeded them?
- In which parts of your life have you been productive and fulfilling? In which areas have you been lax, or where your efforts have not produced results?
- In any organizations you’ve been involved in, evaluate where your efforts were enjoyable and satisfying and productive.
Now, set up four baskets or bowls, each with one of these labels: Composting, Ripening, Perfectly Ripe, and Seeding Next Year’s Harvest. On small pieces of paper, write down a relationship, organization, or goal inspired by the above questions, and place the paper in the appropriate basket:
Composting: This is the place to put your life’s metaphorical weeds, pruned branches, blemished fruit, and rotten fruit. Too many weeds crowd out the healthy plants in any garden—this is also true in life. The relationships or goals placed in this bowl need to be deliberately released. Letting go makes room for other things to grow.
Ripening: Items in this basket need tending to, in order for ripening to occur. Be mindful about what you can and will do to make this happen.
Perfectly Ripe: All the “produce” in this basket warrants your thanks and gratitude!
Seeding Next Year’s Harvest: Looking ahead, what are the goals and relationships that need to be planted and/or tended for a rich harvest next year?
As you go through the Harvest Ritual, keep in mind the following line from David Whyte’s poem, “Sweet Darkness:”
anything or anyone/ that does not bring you alive/ is too small for you
And finally, find encouragement in this quote from Marianne Williamson: “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine…”
About the author: Nick Meima is a Life Cycle Celebrant based in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to performing ceremonies, Nick does work with couples including workshops on self-compassion and self-acceptance. Nick can be reached at weddingforyou.net.