Is it just me or does the run up to Christmas seemed to have started even earlier this year? It was mid-September when I saw the first Christmas books released and Christmas gifts appearing in the shops. It’s as if the world’s forgotten there’s a whole season in between. A season that’s particularly lovely and with a lot more to it than Halloween (or Samhain if you prefer the old names). These are some of my things about autumn. I’d love to hear yours.
Something happens to the light in autumn that I find fascinating but extremely hard to describe. With the bright glare of summer’s sunshine gone, autumn light has a more reflective quality, a softness or (to borrow from Keats) a mellowness. Whatever it is that makes the light so special at this time of the year, and I suspect it’s something quite complex which involves more physics than I understand, on a lovely autumn afternoon it’s as if everything is bathed in liquid gold.
Imagine a walk through a wood where the leaves are gold, amber, chestnut and auburn above your head. There are piles of leaves on the ground, perfect for scrunching through or jumping in. There’s the hint of frost in the air and your breath hangs like smoke in the air. That’s the kind of perfect autumn walk I’m thinking of. And ideally (because all good walks should end at cafes) it’d finish with hot mugs of tea to warm your hands and cake to replenish the calories you’ve just burned off.
The autumn equinox in late September is when the day and night are in perfect balance. It’s a time to seek our own balance and maybe change things which won’t work for us now that summer has gone. I always find myself a little more reflective at this time of year as if I need to sit a while and come to terms with what’s been and prepare for what’s to come.
For anyone who’s spent as many years in education as I have, both as a student and as a teacher, autumn always feels like the time of new starts. And whereas January resolutions tend to be made in a reaction to December’s excesses, a new start in autumn, fuelled by the stored energy from summer, always seems more authentic to me. Even if I’m not embarking a new course, this time of the year always finds me dusting off my pencil case and ready for a new start of one kind or another.
Being red-haired and fair skinned, summer can be a bit of a trial for me. Never venturing out without sunscreen, a bottle of water and a hat can get a bit exhausting. The return of autumn makes life so much easier and I’m always happy to see my jumpers again, put my boots on and get out my opaque tights.
These are my favourite things about autumn. What are yours? I’d love to hear from you.
All of the gorgeous pictures in this post are from unsplash.com, Check it out, it’s amazing!