Autumn is my least favourite season. If I were a “looking forward” type of person, I would probably be feeling a bit despondent right now because I can definitely smell Autumn in the air; feel it every morning as I stride determinedly across the now wet grass in my flipflops to rescue yet more fallen plums from the slugs, and see it every evening as I have to turn on the lights ever earlier. At running club and cycling club we are moving into Autumn mode – last Wednesday evening cycle ride tonight, and we have already moved to the “winter” field for efforts at running club and been told to bring our high vis jackets for evening runs. But whilst I can feel Autumn’s approach, fortunately I am not a “looking forward” kind of person. Even when there is something really good on the horizon, I prefer to enjoy all the steps on the way to it, not leap-frog over them and focus exclusively on the “prize”.
It’s not that I don’t plan or organise anything – although I do tend to be a little last-minute about things. On the contrary, I love to have events peppered across the year which I can enjoy as they come along. And I do think of those things, anticipate them I would say and they bring a bounce to my step when I do. Often I have to bite my tongue if people ask if I am “looking forward” to something that is a long way off – saying “no” is not really the correct answer. My mother is prone to this with questions like “are you looking forward to your holiday?” I try to remember to answer with “not yet” rather than “no” which sounds like the holiday is something I am dreading. Obviously my holiday will be fun but I tend not to count down the days – just enjoy them when they arrive.
Coming back to Autumn: if I think about Autumn as a looming inescapable three month entity then I don’t much like it – all that withering and decaying and here in the UK such grey dark days by the time we get to November, where the sun, when it deigns to appear, remains resolutely low in the sky and gives off no warmth whatsoever. I know at one time I used to spend many weeks of Autumn in denial – prowling around in clothes and footwear wholly unsuited to the new coldness that had arrived. But now I just take each day as it comes. It is perhaps a little harder for me to be happy in Autumn than it is in the sunshine of spring and summer. But taking each day of Autumn as it comes, I enjoy Autumnal days just as much as I do any other days of the year. Strange but true. There are just the same array of good things to do every day.
And look at this! I posted this last November on my Facebook page. The tree is stunning, the sky is blue and I don’t sound glum at all, do I?
And what do I have peppered across Autumn to bring a zip to my step? Very many things indeed – Tour de Broads (70 mile cycle Sportive), 5k East Anglian Air Ambulance Runway Run, Peterborough Half Marathon (eek! that ones bring more of a blip to my heart rate than a zip to my step!), plus all the usual cycling and running club runs with all the lovely people who make those clubs fun. But mostly it is simply that life remains much the same regardless of what the weather does outside, and life is good!