‘…Autumns seem that season of beginning.’
Each new season brings hope, the sense of starting over. Autumn is my favourite.
Perhaps it’s because I loved school. I’ve never lost the excitement of a new academic year, the anticipation of so much waiting to be known.
Even better, autumn is perfect for writing. The spirit of the season is just right. This is harvest time, when all that summer growth, that gadding about, is ready to reap. Poised between heat and cold, long days and short, summer festivals and Christmas festivities, then and what is to be, autumn is a lacuna, a deep breathe. It’s when the tick of my inner clock slows, I become reflective, day-dreamier. I watch the skeins of geese returning home and fly with them.
‘Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower.’
For me, nature is at its most vivid, most pungent, most wondrous in autumn. I love weird fungi perhaps the most. Their names demand a story, such as amethyst deceiver, powdery piggyback, destroying angel, barefoot amanita, bog shadow, barometer earthstar, dewdrop dapperling, fragrant strangler. Oh, and the colour words – russet and sepia, gamboge and cornelian.
Between the equinox and Halloween, I’m not alone in feeling the mythical, monstrous and magical creep closer. But this is also when we hold back the night, celebrate light. We throw the bad onto bonfires and paint the sky with fireworks. Both instincts, the dark and the defiant, are rich with imaginative possibility.
Time to make hot chocolate, pull on my writing socks, and follow those possibilities wherever they fly. Here’s wishing you a mellow, fruitful writing autumn.
‘I told some imprecisely imagined interlocutor that each year I hoped to have outgrown being moved by the autumn and each year I hadn't.’
(Thanks to Mr Gaitskell for the pumpkins.)