Tuesday 10 September 2013

Ode to Autumn

Lost LeafOur temperature here in Newcastle was a whopping 24°C last Wednesday, dropping to 15°C on Saturday and Sunday. With the temperatures dropping, and heavy rain beginning to set in, the weather forecasters are all adamant that summer has slipped into autumn (though only one has announced that "winter is coming"). While the Autumn Equinox is still some days away yet, there is certainly a new nip in the air, and a sense of melancholy as the nights draw in, while the idea of early morning sunshine begins to feel ludicrous. Was the summer really so long ago?

But is autumn as a season really something to be dreaded? John Keats certainly didn't think so - back in 1819, he considered it to be the season of "mists and mellow fruitfulness", and waxed lyrical about the ripe fruit, and the specific songs of autumn that differ so vastly from the songs of spring. I must admit, I'm no fan of going to work and coming home from work in the dark, and I'm even less enthused about the daily drenching as rain plagues my commute, but I'm trying to think positively about the changing seasons. So here are my top three things about autumn.

1) The Clothes
No more worrying about needing to have a "bikini ready" body, or needing all visible limbs to be in tip top condition - I'll be spending the next few months in comfortable jumpers, squishy handmade cowls and warm boots (though, in all fairness, I practically live in my Doc Martens even when the temperature goes into the mid-thirties). I can bust out my collection of hand knitted accessories, and choose from an array of hats, handwarmers, scarves, cowls and shawls to keep myself cosy when the nights draw in.

2) The Comfort
There's something comforting about making it home just in time to see the heavens open, and being able to sit by a fire while watching the downpour outside. Grey skies, chilly winds and falling leaves seem oddly romantic in their melancholy way when you're enjoying them inside, hopefully while enjoying the smell of freshly baked cinnamon biscuits. Plus you've got more of an excuse to ply yourself with hot drinks and comforting snacks.

Cross in the Woods3) The Colours
I love spring when the world comes back to life, but I equally love autumn as the trees prepare for the coming winter - this year I'll be heading up to Howick Hall Gardens to see their collection of New England trees burst into dazzling autumnal hues. The blaze of red and gold somehow takes the edge off a dreary morning, and the beauty of the season seems to be nature's way of compensating us for the cold darkness that lies ahead. Also, if you're anything like me and you find beauty in sad, doleful things, there are few things more glorious than a tree repainted in autumn's finest colours looming out of an early morning mist.

What about you? Do you love autumn, or do you yearn for spring already?


Tony Noland said...

I like autumn probably best of all the seasons. Cool and misty or chilly and crisp, it's my favorite time.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I think I like spring the best as the world starts waking up again and the fields are full of baby animals but then I do have a weird fixation with winter. Probably the supervillain in me.

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