Sunday 22nd of September marks the first day of Autumn. Sunday September 22, 2013
If we are grieving* the loss of warmth and sunshine maybe an antidote could be to immerse ourself in the current season.
'Autumn - a second Spring when every leaf is a flower,' so said the writer Albert Camus.
We well know that Autumn can bring a breathtaking, show-stopping, blaze of colour and glory. For many years I've foraged and found autumnal leaves, pressing them in my journals along with the date and place discovered. Or sometimes I hibernate one in a random book. I've often opened up a book that I haven't touched in a long while and a leaf, having been awakened, will escape, floating to my feet and giving me a nudge of joy or a happy memory.
It was only last year that it dawned on me that Autumn is one of nature's greatest teaching programs. Autumn can educate us in dendroloy - the study of trees. Do you know your Sycamore from your Hawthorn? Or your Oaks from your Ash?
Collecting colourful leaves of all shapes and sizes and looking them up is a delightful way of becoming absorbed in the present. By keeping my eyes peeled for the most fiery, beautiful and untouched fallen leaves, I tend to fret less that the temperature has dropped or that the blue skies are now a murky grey.
Incidentally, there are trees everywhere, not just in the countryside. Look and you shall find.
"Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." George Elliot.
Now I wouldn't go that far. I love Summer. I need Summer. However, as if it has traveled from a far away land, each season brings its own exotic gifts. Search for them, unwrap them and treasure them.
*When I say 'grieving', I'm not referring to the very real and very distressing Seasonal Affective Disorder.
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