I used to feel like more of a summer girl. I loved sizzling days. Bare skin. Beach. Ice lollies. It was my favourite time of year. And although I’m still a fan, summer just seems…kind of obvious to me lately. I’ve become an Autumn girl. I love the way it forces you to stop in your tracks, look up around you at the trees shedding their leaves and take stock. Because Winter is coming. And you need to be ready.
I love the freshness in the air. The crispy crunch underfoot as we walk around the neighbourhood. The way squirrels scurry to and fro with a nervous energy because they know leaner times are coming and that life can sometimes be hard but that they can get through it all, just as long as they plan.
I love staying home a bit more. Hibernation suits my sensibilities. I love throwing a scarf over my shoulders and shrugging on a woolly jersey and some heavy boots and stomp stomping around town. I like the richness of autumn colours, the auburns and plums and metallic greys and bright yellows and burnt oranges. I like drinking red wine, by a roaring fire, with my hands cupped around the glass, and an ear open for interesting stories. I’ve always found myself more introspective in colder months. In the warmer ones I seem to rush around, with less time for reflection.
And I realised with shock the other day, that this weird new affinity with Autumn, may be because I’m almost in the Autumn of my life. Is that why it appeals to me so much? Because, if we are lucky enough to live to the ripe old age of 80, and if you divide that by 4 (the number of seasons there are), then it all makes sense.
Your first 20 years on this planet are Spring and all is fresh and new. You are a daffodil bursting mysteriously through mossy earth and you are all blossoms and new beginnings. You don’t know much, but you are young and beautiful and life has endless possibilities.
Then Summer arrives: from age 20-40 and man, is it glorious. You’ve been around a bit longer now, you’re trying to get where you want to go, and you have a clearer idea of this future you want to create for yourself, but you still have age on your side. You are rushing around, trying to do so much, but it is fun and life is full and you are still kind of cocky about it all. Life is one big juicy piece of watermelon and your hands are sticky and life is sweet.
And then suddenly, Autumn knocks on your front door, like an elegant guest wearing that perfect shade of lipstick. You’ve nearly lived half of this life already, how did Autumn get here so fast? You are full of love now, and maybe a bit more wisdom, because you realise very rapidly that all of this is fleeting and you can do nothing to stop the rapid march of time, so you may as well savour every moment. Like a sip of warming tomato soup, or that first taste of perfectly aged wine. There is more knowledge now, more knowing what you like and what you don’t like, and what you are good at, and what you aren’t. And that can be a wonderful thing.
I’m not quite 40 yet but this analogy feels right. So when, just two days ago, the chill arrived in the air, and the glow of summer faded, it felt to me a bit like coming home. Autumn is shrugging off her gorgeous coat, and putting on the kettle and she has a knowing look in her eyes, and a really mischievous plan, and I feel like she has some great stories to share. I know we will be friends.
Enjoy this beautiful weekend,