I think it must be thirty or so years since I was asked to write a piece about Autumn. I’m not sure that I appreciated it as much then.
I guess that the gap between one autumn and another seemed impossibly long at that age, and perhaps I hadn’t realised how much it signals a point on the calendar when new challenges begin.
Now that I’m at my fortieth autumn, I’ve fallen for it in a big way.
I’m too old to care whether having a favourite season makes me seem stuffy.
I can feel the ghosts of those spinster Sunday school teachers who would be so over the top about the wonders of nature. Autumn makes me realise what they were so excited about.
I love the way that it gives us a double hit. That one day, you can be walking home from work, kicking up a few brown leaves and thinking that it’s arrived again. Because it’s the crunchy leaves that we’re meant to think of.
And then, less than a week later, you get the proper hit. The air that starts to show faint whisps of white in front of whoever’s talking. The cold that makes us run back into the house to find gloves from the back of the drawer we put them in six months ago. The smell of a garden fire in the distance.
It always feels that autumn’s so short. That it’s barely here before we’re celebrating bonfire night and then the road to Christmas.
But for the few weeks that autumn’s here, it feels so full of the sense of new beginnings.
I’ve not joined a new class or started a new theatre production in autumn for about half my lifetime.
But when I feel the cold, and the leaves, and the smells, those feelings of new beginnings are never very far behind.
Thanks to Write on Edge for the Autumn Prompt this week.