Autumn Song

It was the end of daylight saving today. The city gets darker an hour earlier from now on. At first there is a litany of resistance, almost of regret that the balmy sunny evenings are gone for a while. It is as if there is a collective exclamation of ‘That’s that, then.‘ There is an expectation that people will walk about with miserable looks on their faces as the colder weather sets in.

Yet there is much to love in Sydney when Autumn’s song breaks through. The maples shed their leaves. Grand orange and russet leaves as wide as the palm of my hand, creating a satisfying crunch underfoot that no one can resist. Artists gather them, trying to recreate their colours. Children link them at the stalks, autumnal daisy chains, wearing them on their heads like creatures of the woods.

The birds get in their winter feathers, all fluffy and plump, sitting like jolly uncles after a roast dinner, snuggled together, chests out. The camellias arrive overnight, bursting forth from the bud in glorious pinks and whites. The garden is like a carnival.

Seasonal fruits appear – avocadoes, limes, passionfruit, pears, mandarins, ruby red grapes. Autumn can still be as juicy as summer.

Recipe books are pulled from the back of the shelf. Stews and soups are savoured over, planned. Much loved woollen blankets are pulled out of storage and aired. Already there are dreams of cosy, lazy days reading in bed.

There are more people in the streets, walking, as the temperature drops. There is no exhausting heat to battle; no flies to swat. It is possible to walk one mile, two, three without feeling the effects of heat stroke.

The air is crisp in early morning. ‘Makes you know you’re alive,’ says one man in the park. At twilight shadows lengthen more quickly, the garden is vivid with imaginary cats made of velvet, crouching.

I like Autumn’s song. More mellow than summer she tackles the day with less vigour but just as much joy. There is beauty to be had even when the sights and sounds that make up our waking hours are not sun-ripened. There is beauty to be had in change.

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20 thoughts on “Autumn Song

  1. It’s so fun to read about other parts of the world. Redbeard, who is known for his love of “frozen happiness”, is so ready for the warmer weather he can taste it. Just yesterday he was lamenting how much he wanted 70 degree temps… we are such fickle creatures! A few months of one season, we’re ready for the next! 😀

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  2. This post is so beautifully written, Selma, even though we’re in the throes of spring, I almost long for your autumn.

    “The birds get in their winter feathers, all fluffy and plump, sitting like jolly uncles after a roast dinner, snuggled together, chests out.” That line right there makes my heart skip a beat.

    Change can be beautiful, especially when you write about it.

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  3. Wow! This is so beautifully written Selma. Im going back for a re-read.

    What would I do without you? You are a constant inspiration to me. 😉

    Autumn, so hard to fathom as we await the flowers of spring, here in BC.

    Many hugs, hang in there….G

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  4. Your writing is beautiful. I love this post–it’s more than lovely; it’s solid, sure, mature. Glad I wandered over from twitterpoems. You express the poignancy that is with honesty in other places here too. Yes, keep hope alive; rise above.
    And keep writing… wlll you be writing a novel?

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  5. I love the crisp sharp light of autumn and the cooling of the air too. Autumn is my favourite time of year. however I am about to enjoy my second fav. time of the year…spring! 🙂 Such different feelings in the two seasons eh, and to think we’re experiencing polar opposites on this planet earth is still bizarre to me.

    enjoy the maple colouring….! I will enjoy the sap running! lots of syrup being made this weekend.

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  6. such beautiful imagery, sel, it makes me wish for our fall…but since we still aren’t in spring….i know it will come soon enough!!!!!!!!! glad the hot hot days are over.

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  7. BEAR:
    Still a little weary, but not in a bad way. It helps when little tubby fellows visit. 😀

    TEXASBLU:
    It is so true. I am laughing because I do it myself all the time. Oh, human, thou art so fickle…..LOL

    KAREN:
    Awww, thanks, hon. It’s nice just to see all the changes around. Sometimes we miss them with all the rushing around we do. I do love this time of year.

    GERALDINE:
    It still fascinates me that one part of the world is experiencing an opposite season to me. It is lovely to see the spring flowers appearing. I hope you take lots of photos, G!

    JADE:
    I am absolutely delighted you came to visit. Oh, that has made my day. Thank you for your lovely comment. One of these days I will need to get around to finishing that novel of mine. I make far too many excuses!

    LISA:
    Memoirs would be daunting to write, wouldn’t they? It would be hard to know what to leave in and what to take out. I might just leave that to the celebrities. LOL.

    DANA:
    Spring is a wonderful time too. I would love to see the maple syrup being collected. How fabulous. One thing I do miss about living in the northern hemisphere is that we miss out on Spring for Easter. That was always my favourite time of year. It just seems so fitting, somehow.

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  8. When I began reading this post, I felt a heaviness as we are just now showing signs of winter’s departure. But as I read on, I actually missed the fall. A testament to your way with words. I need to remember to maintain a child’s perspective on so many things, not the least of which the inspiration to make fairy crowns out of autumn leaves.

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  9. I like Autumn best of all … after the leaves have turned, my camera is never out of my hands. But, it has its downsides:

    No more barbecues
    I hate driving after dark
    The women are wearing tights or trousers again
    There’s lots of stuff to do in the garden before winter … in my last house, I used to take five bags of dead leaves down to the dump, even though I had no trees in my garden!

    I do have fun counting the number of times writers in newspapers and magazines quote ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness …’ I counted 23 last year!

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  10. It’s Spring over here in England, early spring so everything’s rushing around trying to get it on and not be late and singing at the top of its voice to make sure everyone notices.
    So your piece has a kind of nostalgic feel to it, slows us up a little, reminds us about reflection.
    Thanks.

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  11. Very nice Selma.
    In Botswana we hardly have those transition seasons- it’s hot and occasionally rainy and then cold and dry. You might have autumn and spring for a day or two. Who knows this year- global warming is changing everything.

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  12. BRITT:
    I find it hard to realise you guys are going into spring. I mean, I know it, but often I just can’t picture it. Either way, it’s all good. 🙂

    STEPH:
    I think what it is with kids is that they live in the moment and don’t assign as much emotion to transitions as we do. They’re like ; ‘Oh, it’s autumn, now I can do this.’ I completely agree; I wish I could be more like that – it would be so liberating.

    MELEAH:
    I love it too. The colours are my favourite. So are the smells. The clean air is FAB. Love!

    CRAFTY GREEN:
    Spring is so nice in the UK. You have all the flowers I love. And the dear little creatures.

    TRAVELRAT:
    I love how you do the Keats search. I would really enjoy that. I don’t remember him being quoted here last autumn, but I am going to keep an eye out from now on. See if you can beat 23 this year!

    JOHN:
    How nice of you to stop by. It’s true, autumn does have a certain sense of nostalgia. What an apt way of putting it. Spring is much jollier, isn’t it?

    LAURI:
    Things are changing, for sure. Last year we had a very cold winter by Sydney standards. And for years Australia has had varying levels of drought. We were on water restrictions for 5 years – unheard of in the old days. It does make me a little nervous sometimes, wondering what’s going to happen.

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  13. What a beautiful piece of writing. It is my favourite time of year too, the birds are so happy. I am way behind too in reading, Selma and I am gradually reducing my commenting and networking activities. Your prose is just to pitch perfect to miss though.

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  14. DAOINE:
    I used to imagine cats all the time in the shadows when I was a kid. Looks like they’re back. 🙂

    PAUL:
    Thanks, hon. I am the same. I am finding some of my internet commitments far too time-consuming. We can’t do it all, you know? It is a pleasure to see you whenever you have the time!

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