Have I mentioned I’m ambivalent about autumn? It’s mostly the temperature drop, having to accommodate from hot to cold environments from one minute to the next. Clothing has to be carefully layered to provide the extra warmth without conflicting with each other (I’m talking in terms of comfort and practicality, not exactly a slave to fashion here!) The falling leaves are similarly confounding – they make the ground more treacherous (slippery when wet and hiding all manner of dips and holes in the ground) and, in my mum’s case, are a permanent source of frustration in terms of keeping her front garden neat and tidy (although I’m not so domesticated and unlikely to be troubled by such a thing). Some activities need to take account of the encroaching darkness, particularly when it gets to the stage that daylight is something that only happens while you’re at work. And once you’re soggy there’s a solid chance you’re going to remain that way until you can get direct physical contact with a heater.
All of this tends to inspire a certain degree of grumpiness in me which, actually, would have been ideal as I’m trying to ’embrace the darkness’ in preparation for this month’s workshop. However it’s just not happening. In spite of, or maybe because of, all the horribleness that’s going on in the wider world right now, I can’t get over just how beautiful everything is. The foliage goes without saying but we’ve had amazing rainstorms, the air is wonderfully crisp and people are starting to come together again now that the adventures of summer are fading away.
It got me thinking about a lot of the things I avoid because of potential added hassle, whether actual or perceived. Things I grouch about because of a bit of minor inconvenience that is quite possibly all in my head in the first place. Things that I don’t even explore because I’ve already convinced myself it’s going to be too much effort.
So – threshold of revelation – my aim this autumn is to look for the beauty in things, even where they may not be as obvious as the stunningly transitioning leaves, and to make it a bigger factor in my decision making. Recognising the possibilities and not just the logistics. And maybe becoming a little the better off for it…
(… at least until the grumpiness finally kicks in!)