Tag Archives: Southern Hemisphere

Autumn: a time for change


Yesterday, 20th March, was our autumn equinox down here in the southern hemisphere. It was a particularly beautiful, quiet and sunny day – a welcome treat after all the rain that the Gauteng province has been receiving for most of March!

As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of my favourite seasons. I greatly appreciate the chance to stop and reflect on life. This autumn feels especially poignant for me as we’ll be spending the season wrapping up our lives in our current flat and preparing to move over to our new home. By the time the winter solstice rolls around, Ninja and the fuzzbutts and I should all be happily settled in our new cottage.

I really love that this year I get to clean out the cobwebs (sometimes literally!) at a time when I’m already feeling inclined to make changes. And because of that, I thought that today – technically our first day of autumn – would be the perfect time to share with you my updated and improved ‘101 things in 1001 days’ list 🙂

As I explained a while ago, the direction of my life has changed so much since my original list (and even my updated version) that I need to redirect my goals to match my new circumstances. So you’ll recognise the first 47 goals, as they all come from my earlier list. But from Goal #48 onwards I’ve added new ideas that relate better to where I see myself heading over the course of the next 1001 days (all else being equal, and Lord willing). I also have a ‘someday’ list that I plan to set up separately (perhaps with a separate blog page of its own) and update and attempt as I’m able.

So here goes…!

PS – By the way, I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet… Remember that my husband was facing retrenchment at the beginning of this year? Well to the glory of our great Heavenly Father, Ninja has been granted another work opportunity! Lord willing he’ll begin at his new job in April. We are very very thankful for this provision; it certainly changes the outlook for our year ahead 🙂


Autumn equinox


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.

Autumn harvest © Sunshine Scrapbook

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.