I love the autumn, there are no two ways about it! I have tried to love summer, and there are elements of it that I do really like – picnics, going on holiday, eating supper in the garden, wearing sandals and spending more time outside to name but a few. But I love the autumn unreservedly and nearly wept with joy when I got my cosy jumper out of my wardrobe this week and am now looking forward to wearing all my boots again. My enthusiasm for this time of year isn’t fully appreciated by some and my husband rolls his eyes when I declare that I love the cooler temperatures, darker evenings and seeing the trees change in colour!
However, I appreciate some people find this time of year a bit gloomy and can mourn for the loss of summer and letting go of longer, lighter, warmer days. I certainly agree that getting back into the swing of things after a summer of more unstructured time can be hard and that it is easy to lament the end of a holiday, especially one that has been looked forward to for so many months. That back-to-school feeling is either loved or loathed, but getting back to routine, structure and more discipline can be a cathartic experience if looked at in the right way.
In one way, it may seem that September is a return to hectic mornings of getting the children ready before the mad dash to school, followed by the never-ending commute to work and it can be easy to lose ourselves in the chaos and feel like we are rushing from one thing to the next. However, once back in the swing of things, this time of year is an ideal time to think about what is important and re-assess our goals in all parts of our life, be it our health, family or our career. It is a much quieter time of year as summer turns into autumn, a time of reflection and time to stop and breathe. I love the feeling of getting organised, almost recapturing that sense of organising your new pencil case for the start of the school year when we were children.
The autumn is also a fabulous time for foodies! Think about all the yellows and oranges of pumpkins and other root vegetables like carrots and butternut squash for example, as well as the welcome return (in my view!) of stews and soups. Roast dinners overflowing with roasted vegetables of all colours become more appetising as we crave more homely and heartier food as the weather turns cooler, as well as warming porridge with homemade fruit compote for breakfast. Golden coloured turmeric lattes and cacao hot chocolates are cosy drinks to try this autumn. It is also a gorgeous season to get outside in nature and go for blustery walks with the family and to see the trees changing their colours; simply wrap up warm, venture into some of our beautiful woodlands and look forward to getting home and being cosy indoors afterwards. As the renowned fell walker Alfred Wainwright said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” (maybe a thought to reflect upon in all areas of our lives!).
This is such a special time of year; autumn is a very rejuvenating season, a time of reflection and getting back to ourselves before the months slip into the louder, busier month of December and the run into Christmas. Now is the perfect time to look forward and make positive changes for ourselves in a quieter, more internal way than the more public New Year’s resolutions, which are the good intentions set by so many on January 1st, but somehow always seem to have fizzled out a few days or weeks later. Rather than lament the end of summer, Iet’s challenge ourselves to love the autumn, set ourselves achievable and meaningful goals, embrace change and smile every time we wear a cosy jumper…