One of the great things about living in the UK is experiencing the different seasons. I am definitely someone who is excited by variety and my biggest anathema is things never changing. Therefore it’s natural that my favourite times of year are those subtle transitions between the seasons, where everything is in flux and you can sense change in the air. At this time of year you can smell it in the dampness and the woodsmoke and feel it underfoot on the skiddy leaves and rotten apples.
The landscape shifts before our eyes, offering us a new perspective on our daily commute to work as even motorways assume an autumnal beauty, flanked by golden embankments. Tarmac is defiantly spattered in yellow, bright orange and crimson, and the mute sky is broken up by scarlet and sulphur canopies in a riotous celebration of colour that sticks two fingers up at winter’s advancing monochrome blanket.
Colourful concrete, St Nicholas Park, Warwick – on my way to work this morning.
Behaviour starts to shift too. An urge to cook hearty soups sweeps the nation, and we begin to hunker down and batten down the hatches, ready for winter. People start to look different – bare flesh is veiled and silhouettes widen as the chunky layers come out.
I find the sense of change and excitement in the air infectious; a reminder that we can change things about ourselves and our lives too. It is not such a leap to extend the visual shift of perspective to other areas of our life; to reflect it back onto ourselves. But, whilst spring is undoubtedly a time of positive personal change when, buoyed by the reawakening of the natural world, we often feel a renewed zeal for life, autumn is a little more ambiguous. The magical excitement of transition can be tinged with a melancholic anticipation of the long darkness to come, which may cause people to turn inward, both physically and mentally.
Yet looking inward is the perfect starting-point from which to enact personal change – call it giving yourself an autumnal-audit. So, whereas spring can give us the oomph to put new plans into process, autumn can give us the perfect combination of a taste for change tempered and informed by introspection, which will help us determine what those plans are going to be.
So, next time you head outside, take a look around and appreciate how familiar surroundings have subtely shifted, and maybe you’ll feel the stirrings of excitement that the possibility of change can inspire… 🙂
My garden, providing evidence of seasonal change!