Today is the autumn equinox in the southern hemisphere (and it will be spring tomorrow for those of you in the north). Although the weather is rather breezy today, I haven’t yet seen any of the trees turning yellow or orange. However, the weather is a notch or two cooler than it usually is in summer, so the change of season is definitely on its way. I’m so grateful that God didn’t create a monotonous world in which there was only one season!
Autumn and spring are my favourite seasons, more for what they symbolise than for the weather they bring. I love autumn because it’s an ideal time for reflection and introspection. Following on the heels of summer, which is usually a lively, chaotic season, and coming as it does just before the lockdown of winter, autumn is like the yellow bulb on the traffic light – a warning that it’s time to slow down, to look around, to pause and consider.
This pic is one I took this time last year, when Ninja and I took a weekend break to a log cabin a couple of hours’ drive from here. I think the bales of hay epitomise the beauty of autumn: the bundling up of summer’s goodness and the preparation for winter’s harsher demands.
Each year when autumn comes around, I long for a completely different life. One far, far away from the city. A life on the land, the way people used to live, experiencing the seasons firsthand. I’ve felt that way for as long as I can remember. I was born into a standard suburban life, but if I give myself quiet time to muse, my heart always longs for something more natural and homegrown and earthy, somehow.
As if I’m remembering a life I’ve never actually lived, autumn conjures for me images of cornucopias filled with the season’s best; the smell of homemade jams and preserves packed away for the winter; long walks in vast golden meadows; shorter days and evening fires; a sense of shedding summer’s excesses and looking forward to winter’s lack and peaceful silence. It seems more beautiful, for some reason, if I picture myself in another time, another place, another life.
I’m convinced that autumn (or fall) is far more striking in the northern hemisphere than it is here down south. The blazing glory of Japanese maples or the timeless beauty of New England’s deciduous trees is something I’d love to see in person. We do get some pretty leaf colouration here, of course, but Jo’burg also seems to have far too many evergreens 😛
This year I want to appreciate this short season to the full. Autumn seems like a good time to unplug from technology and step outside instead. In the middle of my busy, boxed-in urban life, I want to stop to acknowledge the changes in the natural world around us – and to notice how those changes mirror the inner seasons of my heart.