Autumn is in full swing, and I've been dragged into it kicking and screaming. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy autumn, but I'm such a summer child that I find it difficult to say goodbye to the sun and come to terms with the changing of the seasons. Even when most of the people I follow on Blogger and Instagram were getting excited about colder days and pumpkin-spiced lattés and saying it was their favourite season, I just couldn't warm to the idea. But now, finally, I've accepted it. I've left summer and denial behind, and I'm welcoming autumn with all the woollens, yummy soups and pretty scenery it brings.
I never used to enjoy autumn when I lived in Spain, because Spain doesn't really have autumn, at least not in the area I lived. The weather just got colder, the days got shorter and the flowers died, leaving perennials behind. But in the UK, France and Germany, to name a few more Northern countries, autumn is a dream. My favourite colours are reds, burnt oranges and warm yellows, all the colours the trees turn when autumn comes along. My camera roll fills with snaps of orange-tinged avenues and brightly coloured parks, while my shelves suddenly display an array of fallen leaves I've collected on walks. And while I hate the nights drawing in and I'm not a fan of the cold, I love getting out the boots and woolly jumpers, and this year especially, I've indulged in a bit of retail therapy to update my autumn wardrobe (shh, don't tell).
And the food! Oh, how I wish British supermarkets would sell more pumpkins and their cousins! Last night I knocked up some roast pumpkin to accompany a tasty Saturday night paprika beef dish, and I'm loving all the root veg and winter spices to throw in soups (although, to be fair, I tend to ignore people who tell me I can't eat soup in the summer, who do they think they are?) And a little later on, when the Christmas spirit starts to creep in (i.e. not in September when the shops think it's okay to start screaming at us to buy Christmas stuff), I can't get enough gingerbread, Yogi tea and hot chocolate, mmm mm.
Finally, there's the nostalgia, the sadness. In some ways, this nostalgia is a good thing. It's a sign that things are ending, but after that ending comes a new beginning, a new year. But I can't help but lament the passing of time, especially if the year has passed quickly, and this is the main reason I'm usually so reluctant to let go of summer. Time falls away quickly, like the leaves of the trees, and before I know it the trees will be bare and the time will be gone. Thank goodness all the beauty of autumn and all the joy of Christmas is enough to distract me from unhappy thoughts, and by the time January comes along I'm already looking forward to spring.
Autumn is finally here, both outdoors and in my heart. And soon I'll be munching my gingerbread men and doing my Christmas shopping. But for now, let me wish you a happy season and leave you with a little autumn poem I wrote some time ago...