I don’t know about you, but September is a reflective time for me. Our modern lives of electricity makes dark evenings bright and stocked supermarket shelves make the concept of harvest bizarre, seasons and the rhythms of nature a distant irrelevant echo of the past.
Yet, there is a value in connecting with the changing seasons – without these feasts and marking of change, every day ends up being a bland unremarkable section of time – and we begin to wonder where the days, months or years have gone.
In order to separate time, our brains need to put down markers and it only does that when we step beyond the routine or automatic functioning. It is why, as adults, time seems to slip by un-noticed and yet as children it seemed to last forever – our childhood memories are filled with seasons and celebrations, long summer holidays, Birthday celebrations and Christmases.
We need to fill our adult lives with variety and celebration, the difficulty is that our culture has so few celebrations. In the Christian tradition the celebration of St Michael falls late in September and gives us Michelmas – but like all things Christian they created many festivals on those of older faiths but they all seem to share this theme for taking stock, giving thanks and preparing for winter.
Haust is the Old Norse word for Autumn or Fall, a time for giving thanks for the year’s harvest as well as bidding farewell to the long days and warmth of the Summer and welcoming the long nights of the Winter. At this time of the year the daylight and darkness are in balance once again before the dark takes over, so this is a transition point to reflect on what has been accomplished and what is yet to come.
We are looking forward to celebrating at an Autumn festival later this month, at an Ancient Farm in the Meon Valley. I think it should offer the best opportunity to feel connected with the past and enjoy a feast with others.
In the last few years, September has seen the trees hold on to their green leaves well into October, so change is gradual. I have seen a lot of blackberries ripe for picking – it has always been a delightful pleasure – but I haven’t been able to this year because my foot is still healing.
We have spent a couple of cosy evenings watching flames flicker from our little fire, turning on lights a little earlier each day, Autumn is meekly creeping into our lives.
This time offers a gentle releasing of all things external, outdoor adventures to retreat into the cosiness of home. An invitation to reflect and assess what is needed and what is no longer serving us – winter is coming.
Spring and Autumn are times of transition – both come with a sense of change in the air that inspires me to re-evaluate my nest. I have found myself dealing into drawers and wardrobes – nooks and crannies. A good few trips to the dump has worked wonders.
Change invites creativity, I am planning some new decorations for our little twinkly tree – it has been the only light on the last few evenings, sitting under the glow as the darkness descends – it feels magical.
Autumn is a time for hygge, warm blankets to snuggle around me during the long evenings – recipes that call for more comfort – stews and soups, apples and spices, books to be read on rainy afternoons – but before that can begin – I need to clear space.
Spring fever has begun… why isn’t there a Autumn fever?