I think Autumn is my favourite time of year (although I probably change my mind as each season comes around). It is a time for harvesting what has been sown. For looking back with gratitude and looking forward with hope. For celebrating abundance and cosying up with contentment.
Our walks have tempted us with glistening hedgerow jewels. His little hands deftly picking the juiciest of blackberries. His excitement at seeing the first Autumn Leaf of the year. Fallen hazelnuts nibbled by little creatures. A chill in the air. Hot chocolate on the beach. Autumn sunshine glinting on the river as flame-coloured leaf boats set sail.
As the nights drew in, we made a tissue paper leaf lantern to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox. It represents the equilibrium of the light and the coming darkness. To give thanks and to contemplate. We gathered our little Autumn treasures and set them out. Our seed ideas sown in the unconscious to manifest in Spring.
We went for a torch walk in the pitch black. He was so excited to be out at night. to see the world from this new perspective. The beetles that hurried away from the light. The silence. Watching for bats. Marvelling at a million stars and following his first satellite. Choosing a stick to take back home.
As I made our celebratory harvest dinner, he and his Granny decorated the stick with the colours of Autumn. We followed dinner with an apple and foraged blackberry crumble. We drank mulled cider and warm apple juice to toast the coming season and the people we hold dear. Those near, those not so near and those who are no longer here…
The earlier nightfall means I get to share sunsets with my son. There is something pretty special about an Autumnal sunset. And when the sky show is over, I pull the darkness over me like a comforting blanket. In the quiet of the evening, with the flickering of the flame, I give thanks for my abundance. For my sweet boy who amazes me each day. For the time I had with his brother. For the life we lead. And for our beautiful world.
Our planet is a remarkable place. I find it reassuring that nature carries on doing its own beautiful thing whether we are there to witness it or not. It is up to us to choose to see the joy or not. On the 28th of September we woke at 3am to see the spectacular lunar eclipse. I couldn’t capture the beauty of the harvest moon but I think the experience of sharing it with my boy will stay with me. Witnessing something like this always highlights the simultaneous significance and insignificance of life.
The coming of each season reminds us that the world moves on whether we want it to or not. We travel so many journeys in life. Maybe it matters which paths we choose to take. Maybe it doesn’t. But either way, I will try to live each step with a grateful heart.