Even though we don’t have a “proper autumn” in northern California, it has sort of felt like one this week — a crispness in the air, an unexpected shower yesterday morning. Autumn has always been my favorite season, summer my least favorite. Winter is my second favorite, sometimes tying with fall, spring coming in next.
For 20 or so years I have tried to recognize each equinox in some way. In recent years I have used a variety of spirals, charts and cards. The Enchanted Map cards have been a favorite tool of late. The synthesis of this equinoxes reading was to try to plan a little less, be prepared for the unexpected, know that the hurts of the recent past are fading and healing, and that unconditional love is there, even now, even if I don’t see it.
What appeals to me most about autumn is that it is the season that is the most striking reminder of the fleeting nature of all life forms. Fading, graying, softening colors and weather that may shift towards sharper and harsher tones. But not right now. Right now there is still crimson-orange life glistening in the sun.
Autumn in New York has always been my favorite song about the season. June and moon songs or those that give frothy descriptions of spring have always felt cloying to me. The colors of autumn have always been the most enriching to me while pastels and spring hues have felt depressing. I gravitate towards fog and overcast weather, blue clear skies always feeling like crass melodrama.
Coleus have always been my favorite plants in the garden, the hues of autumn there in the midst of summer and then withering as the November rains of northern California hit.
Yesterday, like Mrs. Dalloway, I said I would buy the flowers myself. Something I don’t do for myself on a regular basis. The logical side of myself asks why I would waste money on something that will wilt in a matter of days. And like autumn itself, they remind me to take the time and care of a fleeting experience. That which is fleeting may actually last a lifetime.