I watched autumn through windows last year.
I was discharged from hospital on the 29th August and readmitted exactly 5 weeks later on the 3rd October, and in-between I left the house only a handful of times- mainly to view houses as we were about to move.
I could hardly walk, and everything was an incredible amount of effort. It felt like I spent basically the whole of September sitting on the sofa under our living room window, watching the leaves turn red and the sky turn grey, wondering when I’d be ‘normal’ again.
A year later, and I’m not quite ‘normal’ but as close as I’m ever going to get, and autumn is here once again and I’m IN IT.
(walking through the park to school, last week, keeping their eyes peeled for “coconuts” aka, conkers!)
Every day, I’m outside, walking through the park watching the leaves falling, feeling the air changing, looking for conkers with my kids, and drinking pumpkin-spice lattes (well someone has to! If the internet is to be believed, everyone else on the planet hates them?!)
Autumn has always been my absolute favourite season, so many good things have happened to me at this time of year, that for me it isn’t just about the natural beauty, the sights and smells, but the memories they evoke too.
(Cringle Park, autumn 2012, which feels like last year to me, because of being ill I feel like I skipped a year)
There was the autumn I moved to Manchester. Ok, technically I moved here in the summer, but it rained for about 5 solid weeks when I first arrived, and I spent the “summer” painting my flat- so it didn’t feel like I really began to get to know the place until the autumn. That was also the autumn I met my (now) boyfriend Chris, although neither of us remembers our first meeting. That is to say, we remember the occasion, and were vaguely aware of each others presence, but ours was a slow burn, and it wasn’t until the following autumn that we actually got together as a couple (see: slow).
There was the autumn we got our dog, Fudge, his first walks as a puppy involved racing through the fallen leaves on the green on Slade Lane.
There was the autumn I was heavily pregnant with our first baby, walking along the beach in Whitby, under overcast skies, my ginormous belly swathed under a tent-like tartan duffle coat.
Then two years later, the autumn I gave birth to our second child. It was a late one that year, September felt more like July, and the final weeks of my pregnancy were unbearable, and then finally, when he was born at the start of October, autumn arrived, and our first trip out as a family of four was to the park, which was covered with a thick carpet of golden leaves, the air was crisp and bright.
So when I say “I love autumn”, or declare autumn as my “favourite season” (as though one could exist without the others), yes I love the stuff everyone else seemingly loves about it. That “back to school” feel (I always loved school as a kid, especially- especially new pencil cases), the drop in temperature, the nights closing in slowly, the reds and golds, halloween parties, pumpkin-spice everything, bonfire night, toffee apples…yes of course all of that. But also something else. Unlike the other seasons, which I also love for the changes they bring, somehow autumn is the one that for me, has the ability to transport me back in time. It holds the emotions of the past, and the promise of the future…
Lots, and lots of conkers.