I love autumn.
After a long, hot summer, I love the novelty of actually needing coziness and warmth, whether it’s my favourite chunky sweater, a warm latte or hot chocolate, or a hot soup. I love warm blankets on cool mornings (less so getting out of them!).
I love the sense of new things starting, kids heading back to school, energy building for NaNoWriMo. Often I feel as if the new year begins in September, Jewish-style.
I love the changing leaves. A story: I was born in Ontario, where the trees turn red and orange and yellow, but I moved as a young child to Alberta, the Canadian prairies. In Alberta, yellow is by far the commonest fall colour. I always felt that something was missing, without remembering what. Now that I’m back in Ontario, I know — it was the full rainbow of glorious leaves. Especially the red…which, I just remembered, was hands-down my favourite colour as a child. (Nowadays it’s blue, as in the colour of an Alberta sky. Funny how these things circle around….)
Something else I learned in Alberta was that autumn was short, maybe six weeks. We usually had the first snowfall before Halloween; trick-or-treating was done in winter coats. Here, what I think of as fall weather stretches a full month longer. But just as a part of me remembered Ontario colours, now another part remembers Alberta winters.
And, while I love autumn, I kind of detest winter. Toronto winters are slushy, windy, damp, and grey. I’m always cold, and I hate being cold.
So I spend most of autumn thinking “Winter is coming!” (yes, even before I started reading A Game of Thrones). And then there’s usually weeks and weeks of warm weather.
My challenge, then, is to stay in the moment and enjoy the season for what it is, without worrying about the one that’s coming — an exercise in meditation and being present.
How do you feel about autumn? Which season is your favourite?