Autumn is in the air. Not in the middle of the day, when the sun beats down from a cloudless sky and the temperature hovers in the mid-30s (˚C). It doesn’t feel like autumn then. But early in the morning when I take the dog for her walk, there’s a discernible change in the air, a frisson of a new season, a hint of something different. It invigorates me and makes my skin tingle.
These mornings it’s cooler, the sun is lower in the sky and there’s a noticeable smell as autumn finds a chink in summer’s armour and stealthily, but inevitably, seeps through. The evenings are undergoing change too, the sky filling with massive billowy clouds in late afternoon, white, grey, ominously black. If we don’t get rain here – and often we don’t – we see it falling elsewhere, sheets of grey connecting sky to land, sweeping across the hills somewhere away in the distance. When it does rain here, it falls in huge fat drops, in showers that are fast, sudden, drenching, and over almost as soon as they’ve begun, filling the air with petrichor*, that heady fragrance of rain after a dry spell.
I get giddy with the turn of the seasons. Each offers new opportunities – seasonal foods to cook and eat, seasonal changes in the landscape to enjoy and wonder at, seasonal festivals and celebrations. I like the change of wardrobe that comes with the change of seasons. After a long hot summer of shorts, t-shirts, dresses and sandals, I’m looking forward to jeans, jumpers, boots and jackets.
Autumn, much more than spring or even New Year, has a feeling of renewal about it. Perhaps it’s because I have spent 37 of my 46 years in formal education, either as a student or an educator and because our year now revolves around my daughters’ school year. Autumn is a time for new books, new pens and pencils, fresh empty virginal notebooks, and the endless possibilities they present. It is a time for stepping up an academic level and the inherent possibilities for learning new things, making new discoveries, and growing intellectually and emotionally.
As I step out these mornings to take Lady on long walks through the countryside, the cool fragrant autumn air that fills my lungs also fills my mind with possibilities for how the remainder of the year will unfold, for jobs to be done and activities to participate in, for writing projects to start or complete, for classes to take and places to visit.
What’s my favourite season? The truth is, I don’t have one. I love them all. My favourite times of year are those in-between season times, when one gets sensory hints of the season to come. Those are the best times of year of all.
*Thank you, Jan, for teaching me a new word this week!