"Autumn... asks that we prepare for the future - that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go - to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness." - B.W. Overstreet
I have always been an autumn baby. Perhaps it is because I was born in October, but unlike most people who moan about the end of summer, I begin to feel a different sort of excitement in my body when the days begin to cool. My season is arriving. My time is coming. I feel bewitched by the feelings that come with the fall.
I could never understand why January the first was created as the beginning of the new year. The beginning of September always felt like that sort of time to me. Although nature was beginning to get ready for a season of rest and replenishment, autumn always brought new beginnings and a heightened feeling of things to do. With the heat of the summer gone, people always seemed to have more energy to get on with things. Like the grasshopper that played all summer, most people get to September and think about all of the things that they need to still get done. Students and teachers go back to school, holidays are over, farmers work hard to get crops in and fields emptied (or planted) before the snow flies; museums, summer camps, and other seasonal places begin to wind down for their winter rest. It always felt to me like this would be the right time to get on with the business of new resolutions.
Part of my love for this time of year comes from my love of new stationary. Last year I was walking by a Woolworths and I swear to you that I could smell that they had just put the new school supplies out. New pens and empty books and clean pencil cases and packages of lined paper beckoned me through the doors. Everything is new and clean and fresh in September. There are back-to-school clothes and supplies and sales. You can finally put your feet back into socks and shoes. My cozy fleece and sweatshirts are whispering to me from the top of my closet. I can't wait to put them on.
So unlike the cold, sometimes harsh and stark resolutions that are made in January, autumn allows us to make gentler ones. We can look at the bounty that is surrounding us, snuggle into layers of warmth, and feel alive with the nip in the air. We can easily see where we have come from and where we want to be as the nights close in.
We can finally exhale.
As soon as I have published this post I am going to sit down with a new pencil and a clean page and take stock of where I am and how I am doing. I am going to write a fresh 'Want List' and set myself some goals to see me through until the end of the year. Then I am going to try to enjoy my favorite season to the best of my ability - beginning with a cozy supper, a warm sweater and an early night.
P.S. The painting is "Ydelnesse" by Keith Henderson