Changing of the Seasons – Changing of the Mind?

After a long summer, autumn is here now. This summer had had a slow start in the Netherlands, and when the summer holidays ended and school started again end of August (I know, really early – but that is 6 weeks of summer holidays for you…) many people said there had been no summer at all. But as soon as the kids sat in their classrooms, the weather switched to warm. Switched to hot even. We have had the hottest September since they started recording the weather (1901, if you are in for the numbers) – during the second week we even hit the 30 degrees Celsius. And so we had beach afternoons after school – my kids were even swimming in the North Sea, which they had not done the whole season – picnics in the park, water fights in the garden.

But it seems that at one point the weather realised it was behaving strangely. Temperatures have been going down slowly, and one can feel a difference in the air. We will still have 20 degrees today, but the mood has changed. Autumn is here.

So I spent some time in the park last Saturday, sitting on a bench on my own, looking at the trees and the grass and the sky. The leaves start to turn yellow, but I think that is more because of the dry weather we had (I have been watering my garden the last weeks, something I normally don’t have to do in September). The sky was still very blue – enhanced by my sun glasses.

I sat and looked and thought.

It seems that especially the change from summer to autumn touches something inside.  At least inside me. If affects me differently than the other seasons changes do. When winter changes into spring, I am all bouncy and happy, start working in the garden, dream of sitting outside in the sun. When spring changes into summer, I am busy hunting for my summer clothes and the sandals in the cellar, drag the hammock outside and eat salad a lot. During summer I hardly find time for writing blog posts, although I continue reading posts (luckily not everyone is as lazy as me). But when it gets cooler, the air smells of falling leaves and there is that special chill returning to the evening, I start getting philosophical. Suddenly my mind wakes up and starts asking questions. About life as such and my life in particular. About ageing and priorities. About what I am doing with my life.

Is it because the change to autumn already hints at the next change, the one to winter? Not that I don’t like winter – I think every season has its charms, although if I could, I would probably shorten winter a bit. (Maybe having three months of spring and autumn each, four months of summer and two months of winter?) But autumn and winter, they always remind us that nothing lasts forever. Of course after winter, there will be the next spring… but what if not? Would we still like it, embrace it?

As I said, autumn brings thoughts into my head, they tumble around like the leaves in the wind.

But as I look outside, the sun is edging around the neighbour’s house to greet me. It is a bit chilly this morning, but the sky is still blue, in the afternoon it will be pleasantly warm again. So let’s enjoy the beauty of autumn, while it lasts (I am sure we are in for enough of the grey-misty-cloudy-wet days too).

Summer was good. Now choose autumn. And be.

 

Autumn Thoughts

Last weekend, autumn showed itself from its best side in the Netherlands. Many people see it as a sort of hobby to complain about Dutch weather, but last Saturday I think even the most dedicated critics were silent. The sun was shining in a clear blue sky, there as almost no wind, the temperature was mild. I went for a walk in the park and was surrounded by colour.

Leaves everywhere, a lot still on the trees, but also masses of them covering the ground like a carpet. Yellow ones, some with green bits, some with red, orange ones, dark caramel ones, fiery red ones. I started picking some up, feeling like a child again.

As so very often when I am walking on my own, my thoughts started to fan out. I thought about the seasons, how good it was to experience different ones. I love spring, I adore summer, but constant summer, no. There is much to be said about autumn and winter too. And what about the seasons of a person’s life? Isn’t it good to have them too? I certainly would not like to be stuck in a constant spring. Being a teenager forever? Not thank you. Summer is great, but what about autumn and winter?

So what age rage would I assign to the seasons? 20 years a season would make calculating really easy, but that would mean summer would end with 40 and winter would start with 60, which does not feel right. (Might also be influenced by the fact that with this range, I would have entered “autumn” last year, and I am not so sure about that yet…) So, what about spring until 25, summer until 50, autumn until 75 and winter from there on? Feels about right. That way, not only I can assign myself a couple of more years of summer 😉 but also my parents-in-law would still be in autumn, which does seem to be the case, active as they are. My mum would be in winter, and I guess that is correct too.

So, what is the point of all this? I am not sure there is.

Does one always have to have a point? Maybe not. This blog being what it is – a home for my random thoughts, a place for them to settle down instead of humming around in my head – I can just leave it like this.

But maybe, if there is a point, it might be this: Walking through this park, enjoying the beauty of autumn, I felt not only good about the seasons in the outside world, but also about the seasons in me. Even if I still place myself in summer, just to be sure. 😉