Autumnal Colours

Moving is never easy. It brings with it new energy. New opportunities that can exhaust you as you consider, and then act on, them. Even though this energy and momentum creates joy, it can also create stress.

We moved to the UK about a year ago, arriving in October. I’m very grateful we did. For many reasons. As we are now firmly into November, the seasons are changing strongly and creating beauty everywhere. The reds, yellow and oranges are in ‘full bloom’ and this is certainly my favourite time of year. It always has been, in many ways.

In Australia, growing up in Melbourne, the city there takes on this beauty and crispness around April that was always welcome to me. I remember crossing over the Yarra River on those early mornings, the water flat and glass like as the cold air gentle kissed my cheeks.

In San Francisco, October and November brought with them a subtle natural change but a larger cultural change, as Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays played a large part in the rhythms of our family. They brought us together.

And now, in the UK, what I experience is probably the strongest natural seasonal change of the places I’ve lived. The colours on every tree are turning autumnal. The weather is getting colder, and there is often that crispness on the air that you would only briefly taste in Melbourne. The days are shorter, and darkness is in place by 5pm.

The thing that strikes me is how different this energy is, compared to spring and summer here. Spring and summer are full of growth. Our gardens exploded, with grass and shoots rampaging towards the sky. It was quite stressful, and whilst those times of year have always been synonymous with good weather and relaxing days, the reality of them seemed anything but!

Autumn in our new home is calming. Nature settles down, as if it’s tucking in to bed to read a good book before turning the lights off. The trees and earth sighs a relief after a hard spring and summer. It relaxes. It contemplates the year its just had. We arrived here a year ago, and as we round our second autumn here, I’m taken by how the energy of the place we live also impacts our own energy and perspective.