This year I am worried that I have no time to enjoy “autumn”. I guess I have an ideal of what autumn should or could be. Part of that ideal is rooted in reality, in my childhood mostly, yet another part is rooted in imagination or various experiences from beyond childhood, the memories of which come together in my mind to form the expectation of a wonderful autumn.
Autumn was the season of returning to school and meeting “old” friends after a supposedly fun summer (which was not so fun at the time). It was the season of wonderful foliage and beautiful colors in the sun, wind or rain. Not that I had much time to enjoy this. Usually, if I managed to enjoy walking through the falling leaves or old streets covered in orange, red and brown, it was part of walking to school or walking in between schools, after dropping my brother at his campus and then walking to the other campus where I had my classes.
Autumn was the season of being cozy and enjoying a warm cup of tea in the embrace of a comfortable sweater on a nice sofa. Not that it really was. The tea, as it was served at home, was quite hot, meaning very hot, and there was some considerable pressure (from parents) to drink it as hot as possible. Plus, at the time, heating was relatively scarce in the apartment and one had to make do with any kind of warm clothing available. Not that it was bad, it had its own charm.
It was the season of harvest, sunflowers and grapes and many other lovely fruit and vegetables. It was not a time when we had “supermarkets” so seasonal harvests were all the rage. Thus, it was lovely when autumn came with all its beautiful natural produce the local markets were overflowing in. Sure, it was all about walking on rainy, cold, muddy streets to and from the market, queueing up and waiting your turn, but it was home and it was autumn and it was good.
Later on, autumn was about cycling through little forests and wooded areas on little paths and muddy roads. It was cycling past sheep, other cyclers, families walking by, children and dogs. Then, after some time, returning home all cold and wet from the rain and having a warm shower and nice little sandwich with some tea, and that pretty good too.
But autumn, or the perception of it that I have in my mind, is always challenged. In reality, it is not only the season of being cozy and calm, and finding some divine inspiration from the natural beauty that surrounds us. It is after all autumn only in some parts of the world, and yet there is drought and heat in others. Autumn doesn’t stop wars or conflict. It doesn’t even stop our daily rush. Sometimes, it doesn’t even help with the daily stress or the kids falling sick, or the boss making ill-timed demands.
I don’t want it to be “autumn” only during those little 5 minute breaks that I manage to squeeze in here and there to escape from reality. I want it to come upon our spirit as an unstoppable force that would evict all evil and give people some respite from the madness of the daily life.