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Autumn

Autumn arrived last week. Suddenly it was cold. Really suddenly – one day it seemed like glorious summer was going to hang around for ages, the next … brrrrr. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about this. In general I love variety and change. So the new feeling in the air, particularly the evenings, was kinda exciting.

The autumn air in the evening smells different to summer air. I think its that its cooler, damper, and maybe the effects of the leaves slowly recycling back into soil. Maybe there’s more fungus about. And I can almost smell woodsmoke and fireworks and baking. It makes me crave cosyness and comfort and curling up with a book and .. slowing down. Its the inverse of springtime. As the days start warming and brightening and lengthening I start craving to be out in them, my energy turns outwards, to exploring and experiencing and doing and journeying. And then as the nights come in, my energy also turns inwards, to mull, to chew over what I have gobbled up over the summer, to rest, to retreat back into myself like an anemone when the sea weather suddenly becomes unfavourable.

The leaves got pretty colours. I’m always excited by leaves. Beautiful in function as well as form. That big, solid, shapely tree is substance created from air! Photosynthesis, using energy from the tiny fraction of the sun’s visible light that happens to encounter our planet, takes carbon dioxide from the air and water, and creates a solid! Stunning. And one of my favourite bits is how miraculous that seems to me, yet to the tree, the incredible factories that perform this feat are then casually cast away in autumn, as if they weren’t so precious at all.

I like the autumn for how it shapes summer for me. Knowing that there will be an externally determined end to the glorious days, I feel free to throw myself fully out into it all. I don’t hold back as I might if I didn’t know about autumn, to conserve some energy or take a break for later. Its like the last hour in a club, where the dj is throwing you everything they’ve got and there’s no thought to sit any of it out, because you’re going to have to go home soon anyway, and rest can wait til then, but the music will end and with it the dancing, so don’t waste a minute. Knowing that the ending is coming, encourages me onwards to take advantage of every second. Or a festival, or a day’s walk, or a mountain to climb. Or life.

What I don’t like is this exhaustion and despondency. Where did my energy go? Why can’t I face doing the things that I enjoy? Where has the joy gone? The fun? The warm sun on my skin? The outdoors welcoming me and pulling me on? Where is my lightness? Glitter? Verve? Its not that there aren’t things still to do, but how did gravity somehow increase its strength? Why does going outside now require so much exertion to reach escape velocity? Did I imagine how easy it was before? How even the thought of going out charged me up, whereas now it drains me?

Suddenly everything seems like work. And as such, I can’t face it. Sure I can just about force myself to do things, but as my mother can attest, I’m not really a person that does things when pressured. And the more there seems to be to do, the more miserable I feel, and the less gets done, and so then I feel worse, days pass and tasks mount up, and bringing my head out from under the covers is even less appealing.

The cold gets to me. And that its suddenly dark at 6. And raining all the time. And so if I go anywhere I’ll have to come home through all this.

Hmmm, better end on a more positive note. So, what is good? Well, I guess I read more. So maybe now is time to enjoy fiction again. Just now on my kindle I have “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality” and “Ancillary Justice”. I’ve got an appetite to reread Anathem because I enjoyed it so much before. And I still haven’t read all of Ursula Le Guin. I should start knitting and crocheting again. I get pleasure from looping wool through other loops, getting into a rhythm, and creating. It means that even if I can’t face an actually taxing task, I still don’t feel like I’ve wasted time on stupid facebook/web procrastination. I fancy learning how to make pasties. And maybe other cooking too. These are things that seem wasted when its sunny out, but maybe the hay making season is over, and I should try indoors things. I tend to be terrible at keeping in contact with people, even when they mean a lot to me. I’m too taken up with doing a million things, and that means I don’t nurture and deepen connections, despite that I feel the loss for that. So I will try to be a better friend and whatever else I am to you all. I will look inwards instead of outwards. I will rest and digest and contemplate and deliberate and arrive at spring nourished and reinvigorated and renewed and strengthened and ready for new adventures.

Still fecking miserable out, though.

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