Autumn, rain, etc
As a kid I never liked Autumn. Why would you like the leaves turning brown, when that was just a prelude to them failing off the trees? Why would you enjoy a time when school started again, but started with new teachers, new classes, new routines, all bringing new worries, insecurities, fears? Why be so happy that the summer was over?
Now I like the Autumn. Today feels like the first day of that season, although I know technically speaking we’re not there yet. It is raining. The skies are heavy, a grey blue, or maybe a blue grey, I’m not too good with colours. The buildings outside appear bleached, blurred, faded. Sitting indoors I love these scenes, love the rain. There is something almost cinematic about my view.
There is a calm to the sound of rain failing. I always fall asleep easier to that sound. I can see why all those New-Age-y ambient folk use rain in their relaxation tapes, although those tapes aren’t anywhere near as relaxing as the real thing – I guess the fear of panpipes appearing at any point puts paid to that.
Autumn is a melancholy season, that slow death, that slide into the dark and cold. I guess the same goes for rainy days. The rain keeps you indoors, stops you engaging with the world, forces you to spend time in your own company. But that melancholy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is something you can luxuriate in, savour. We can’t be happy all the time, so you might as well make your sadness constructive. Obviously a romantic and unrealistic view. A rainy autumnal day can trigger the same synapses as a sad song or sad book or sad movie. And we all go back to those.
Autumn feels like the start of the season for taking stock, preparing for the winter, even Christmas. I don’t even mind the festive stuff appearing in the shops early, a rare lack of humbug on my part.
Autumn is a time to start feeling cosy. A time to take refuge, at home, or perhaps in a pub. I get cravings for log fires, warm beer, food that sticks to your ribs. There is a sociability that feels genuine – anyone can socialise when it is warm and sunny, it takes effort and determination to do so when the nights draw in.
Staring out a window at the rain and the cold is such a joy. Shame my ‘indoors’ today is an office. Rather than fully appreciate the darkness of the day I’m lit by the strip-lighting and my computer screen, the gentle oppression each office worker faces. I’d go for a walk in the rain, but I’m not in Gene Kelly mode today. It is Monday, after all.
Image from the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive, via Flickr
What a lovely, well-written post. It’s my favorite time of year, to be sure. We don’t get the clouds but I love waking up in the morning and having to throw on a jacket.
Thanks Mike. I’m enjoying just throwing a jacket on in the morning rather than spending 10 minutes working out if I’m going to be too hot with a jacket/too cold or wet without one.
Crane flies. That was my least favourite Autumn thing. Not least because they were all over the playgrouns and fields at school when we went back after the long holidays. Crane flies continue to be one of my least favourite insects but I’m on freidnlier terms with Autumn now.
When it has been warm enough to sit outside I’ve had a few citronella candles burning to keep away midges/gnats/other bite-y bugs. It turns out crane flies love these candles and will fly straight into them and frazzle themselves. The next day, once the wax has hardened again, the candles have a lovely, if macabre, marbling effect from all the encased crane fly limbs. So, I’m doing my bit on the anti-crane fly front.
I salute and appreciate your insectoid genocide. 🙂
I’ve found that the best natural repellant for most insect bites is taking a daily vitamin B supplement. They hate the smell it gives off the skin so they stay away.
Vitamin B, for what it’s worth, is also an excellent hangover cure if you take it with your first beer of the night. You’ll feel amazing the next morning. I don’t drink, so the trick doesn’t help me at all, but I’m trying to do my part for workplace productivity.
I have a boozy weekend coming up in a couple of weeks. I think I’ll be stocking up on Vitamin B.