Changing seasons

I always was and I remain a lover of spring.  I love the lengthening days, the growing warmth, snowdrops, cyclamen and the daffodils standing in breeze.  And most of all I love the point when spring begins to turn to summer in May.  There is nothing more glorious than the dazzling intensity of May's green, the new leaves bright against the blue sky, blossom falling over itself, birds rushing in and out of the hedgerows intent on the overwhelming need to grow their chicks.  I just love it.  

I was a late comer to the joys of autumn.  For years and years even the glories of September seemed to me to be shadowed by the knowledge that summer had gone, winter was coming, days were shortening, things were dying.  It was a friend whose enthusiasm for autumn encouraged me to try to see it differently.  There is a quality of light principally in October which suffuses everything with a gentle gold.  There is a beauty in grasses in autumn, shimmering and holding the light.  There is a vividness in red berries or crab apples against a blue sky.   



I also think that the death first eight years ago of my mother and then six years ago of my father had the inevitable effect of bringing me up short against the knowledge of my own mortality.  How many years have I got left?  Ten?  Fifteen?  Twenty?  Who knows.  But it seemed a pity to waste half the year waiting for spring and summer when time is finite!  So firstly it was a conscious choice to look at the beauty of autumn and to try to see it for what it is, right now.  The more I looked the more I saw and in the last two or three years I don't think I have to make any effort at all.  My mindset has shifted.  A glorious autumn day makes my heart sing just as much as a balmy April one.  I don't think anything will quite knock May from its throne for me but nowadays I do love a crisp autumn morning or a warm long shadowed afternoon just for itself.

I would admit that I still struggle with the shorter days and the long dark nights and I will never be a fan of the grey and wet of a dismal December or February day but there are compensations:  fires, soups, frost or snow on a cold bright day.


Do you have a favourite season?  Or if like me winter is not your thing, what are your winter pleasures?

Comments

  1. I love spring, but, autumn is my favorite. The crunch and smell of fallen leaves as I walked to school as a kid remains with me to this day. I love the golden colors and the busy bees and the birds that stop by on their way south.

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    1. Fascinating that those who have responded are united in a love of autumn! I'm glad I discovered its beauty but for me that has very much felt like a thing which attaches to this stage of life so it's interesting to find people who have loved autumn for as long as I have loved spring!

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  2. Autumn is my favorite. Long nights undisturbed by the pull of the outdoors feel like the universe is rewarding me with extra time to read, craft and be quiet in myself. The climate makes a difference too. I Japan and North Carolina (both places I have lived) Autumn is cold, crisp and perfect for long walks in the hills. In Seattle the rain begins I in October and so slippery leaves become a bit of a danger, making it less fun.

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    1. I do very understand the idea of autumn providing a time to withdraw. When we had our huge garden there was always the sense of relief when I could turn inside and stop chasing around with endless garden tasks.

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  3. To me, Autumn is the evening of the year. The bustle and work of summer is done and it's time to wind down, relax, and settle in for a long winter's nap.

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    1. A long winter nap sounds very appealing! Doesn't anyone share my love of sorting and new life? I get the love of autumn more, I truly do, but what about the excitement of lengthening days and new growth?

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  4. Like you, spring is my favorite although, living in California, even February is starting to count as spring. And, like you, I've always had a problem with the shortening of the days in the autumn, the feeling that winter is just around the corner. But over the last few years, the drought has brought a new appreciation for those damp fall and winter days. It's such a relief now when the first heavy rain comes and the fear of devastating forest fires recedes. This year, we've had miraculous heavy rain in October and the streams and waterfalls are now rushing, bringing life and green to the areas that were so brown and parched a few weeks ago. I'm really enjoying the crisp mornings and the soft, muddy ground, the puddles for Cruiser to splash in and the ferns and grass springing up everywhere. Apart from the dark (and the ticks) I'm looking forward to the cooler months and hoping we have a lot more rain.

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    1. That is a great reminder Liz that it is not just the season but also the weather that makes an impact! As you can imagine here in Wales it is hard to think of forest fires and drought and we can easily take our glorious greenness for granted. I must remember that when the skies have been grey for days and days and the rain is falling!

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  5. So beautifully written as always Liz. When working I hated waking up to the cold and dark and coming home in the dark. I do love the early summer - so much promise of sunshine, light and warm days ahead. I love being able to venture outside without lots of layers. Thank you for reminding us to see the good in every season.

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    1. Thank you Julie! Yes I was just the same when I was working with short days and long nights. I felt as if I never saw daylight! Being able to get outside in the daytime is one of the many pleasures of retirement!

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  6. Some years ago I bought a house in the Alps with the idea of spending all my summers there. In practice though, it is the winters there that have most enhanced my life. I used to dread the coming of dark night and, even worse, the fall of snow that meant life grinding to a halt. Now I can't wait for the season to start, albeit in a foreign land!

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    1. You will get that glorious brightness there! On a very few days a year when we lived up on the hills here we would have a day so searingly crisp and blue and white with sky and snow that I would think I loved winter! Then the grey blanket would come down again!

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  7. I have always enjoyed autumn aboput on a par with spring. Summers tend to get too hot for me and, lately, winters have been very wet although we do not have winter as you know it.

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    1. It's an interesting question as to what is too hot, isn't it? I love sunshine and warmth but when it gets much above 25 degrees I am not comfortable and over 30 and I'm laid out!

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