My favourite seasons are always the ones that fit between the main ones. So that will be Spring and Autumn as the ones in which the changeover between Winter and Summer are viewed more favourably to me. Spring offers the promise of newness, and the beginning of growth. A fresh start, and of course rain. Autumn is brought to you through a natural shifting of colours, patterns and shapes.
Autumn can make us feel nostalgic about the past.The thoughts of Autumn rush through you like the bygone years did, all so swiftly with hints of warm memories, maybe the odd nippy blast, but we can forget about that if we look to the joys that Autumn brings. We get out the warm gloves, hot cocoa, a decent book. Memories of Mum or Dad on the back step, or porch, watching the sunset, or later in October carving pumpkins with the family, and sharing all the colours that it brings.
These aren’t ‘the bleak days before Winter, they’re ‘the best days of Autumn’.
These are not the ‘Saying goodbye to Summer, these are welcoming the newness that is Autumn’.
And if Autumn starts on 1 September this year, it delivered a blinder – warm temperatures and daily sunshine made us think summer hadn’t quite ended. But somehow September got rebranded into ‘the last days of summer’ and soon you will notice a harsh drop in temperature becoming ‘the sudden onset of Autumn’. I think Autumn needs to have a full countdown to it, as it is so beautiful and inspirational.
I don’t know why, but late Autumn seems to have become synonymous with rain, cold and misery. For me, those fresh air walks, along with the kicking leaves, then sitting outside a cafe in the sunshine – these are autumnal pursuits that I love. I can sit in the sunshine without feeling uncomfortably hot and having to go in the shade every ten minutes. Bliss. These aren’t ‘the last days of summer’, they’re ‘the best days of Autumn’.
Often our positioning of summer as ‘the perfect’ season is based on complete myth. For many people my age, it’s based on that one Summer in 1976 when the season did what we expected it to do. Boiling hot temperatures, wall-to-wall sunshine – it was the driest, sunniest, warmest Summer of the 20th century. (I can hardly remember it, but it is well documented).
Because that Summer has become wedged so firmly in our childhood memories, we are addicted to its golden rays, and long summer nights. Maybe some Summer loving. Going by years not long past, Summers in Britain have been a little disappointing, we never know when they are starting or finishing. They came in late and left without as much as a goodbye. Then when we were getting the winter coats out, the sun came back out for two days in a row, and that is a Summer for some of us.
It rains in Summer, often for long periods. Then we get a week, or two if we’re lucky, of warmth and sunshine. Then back to rain again. Just because it rains for one full day does not mean ‘the Summer’s over!’ You get rain in Summer, sunshine in the middle of Winter, balmy days in Autumn, freezing days in Spring. It’s unexpected and that’s the joy of it.
But then when Autumn arrives with an air of change, a transition stage occurs. If you walk through an orchard on the last days of September or in October, it smells of nothing but mixture, fruitiness and rottenness, mustiness and deliciousness, a long-cooked smell-soup, something not here for long.
You will see the acorns are dropping one every minute or so. I have never known a year in which the footpaths are so crusty with them.
The leaves are still on the lime trees and the poplars are desiccated and brittle, more oven-dried biscuit than growing organism, as if someone had decorated the trees with a thousand pieces of melba toast.
The martins and the swallows have gone. The geese have yet to arrive from the north. It is a time of quiet and absence, the place is now wrapped in the first October days, we can still wave goodbye to The Autumn of September, but we are in the transition stage of the last rays of an indian Summer and the crisp fall of the harsher October Autumn.
Autumn is well and truly upon us.
I got used to the sun being the exception and not the rule and learned to enjoy it when it did decide to make an appearance. Our coastline is nothing short of paradise at that moment. It was the first of October and the sun was so warm, and the sky so blue, so we went to the coast and took in the air and the fresh breeze. So invigorating. A sunny day but with sprinkles of Autumn in the air. Then you may have noticed the beautiful sunsets and the sunrise. If you are up by 7am you will see throughout the first two weeks of October some amazing skylines with peachy reds and pinks, golden glows of sunrises.
If you are continually wishing Summer back, then you are going to be disappointed. Embrace Autumn. Get out and enjoy whatever the temperature brings. If it is cooler, get out those Autumnal wraps or woolies with the fingerless gloves (I think these can only be worn in Autumn as it is to cold to wear them in Winter).
And as well as all of that, see the changing of the colours and see the newness in the oldness that is Autumn.
Try and look at a few of these photos and illustrations then come back and say you don't like Autumn. Kid Literature Autumn pinned
Get out there now and enjoy lovely Autumn.