This evening I stood on my balcony and looked up at the stars. A train trundled by in the distance, then all was quiet. There, in the darkness mingling with the light of my bedside lamp, I felt torn. I’m both leaving home and going home tomorrow — leaving my family home and going back to England. I’ll be back soon, but even that reassurance is fleeting.
I looked at the apartment buildings facing ours. Lit kitchens and living rooms with families enveloped within. TVs turned on, people sitting around tables. It reminded me of a time when I was in that secure bubble. In a way, I’m lucky enough to still be in that bubble. I come home from time to time and enjoy the comforts of a child on holiday from school. But then I have to leave again, and real life begins.
It’s easy to forget in the long months of summer, but there’s something particularly ambivalent about repeating this pattern in the late months of the year. The murky sky seems to seep the energy from my bones. But the house seems cosier as the air turns chilly.
But because I don’t want every letter to be quite so pensive, here are a few things I really like about autumn.
1. The sharp, clear chill cuts through the stuffy summer heat. It’s almost liberating. You can feel the days slipping into the frosty winter months, but for now the world teeters between warm and cold.
2. The cold means cosy clothes. I’m most comfortable as the human equivalent of a burrito, so I’ll take any excuse to bundle under three sweaters and a blanket. And let’s not forget fuzzy socks.
3. Being cosier in general. Just sitting with my family watching a film becomes more homey. A hot chocolate in the summer is oppressive. In autumn, it’s perfect. A scary novel in summer falls flat, but it’s made for the gloom of autumn.
4. Candles burn brighter in the dark. As dusk arrives earlier and earlier each day, places seem lit brighter than usual. The cold and darkness make me appreciate the warmth of home even more.
5. The upcoming festivities. Everyone seems to be ready to celebrate, with fairy lights, scented candles and seasonal music brought out to shine. You’d think that, as I have these things around all year round, they wouldn’t feel as special to me. But it’s nice to have everyone else catch up.
6. The colours of the leaves. Their final triumphant show before winter takes over.
7. There’s a lingering sadness and surprise about how time has slipped by once again. But there’s also anticipation for a new beginning approaching.
What are your favourite things about autumn? Let me know.
I’m blogging every day this month. Take a look at the introduction to the series here.
Thank you for reading, and until next time.