Autumn is my favourite time of year. You will never, never, NEVER, be able to convince me that it isn’t the best season and I am 1000% sure that now is the best time to go outside.
Some people look out the window, see Autumn creeping in like a reaper stealing away life, but Autumn is more alive than any other season and over the past few weeks, my garden has been alive with the hustle and bustle of movement and change.
Despite what many think, there are still blooms to be found. In summer I discovered there are variety of crocus that flower in Autumn! A flower that’s so often associated with spring has its own end-of-season version — Isn’t that wild!? Maybe you don’t think so, but every bit of plant knowledge I gather gives me joy, and I kinda hope this will be a joyful discovery for you too. I’m seeing the pay-off of my foresight and planting because I’m now (smugly and joyfully I might add) seeing flashes of purple and white as autumn crocus poke out in various spots around the garden.
Autumn flowers are the most appreciated of all the flowers that have bloomed since mid-spring. Their scarcity and finality before winter sets in is a wonder and a joy to both humans and insects. Because I still have blooms in the garden, I’m seeing and hearing bees too. They hustle to get the very last drops of pollen from the flowers that will soon disappear. I was even fortunate enough to see a big fluffy bee clumsily bumble inside the cup of a crocus and fly out covered in bright golden dust.
While insects prepare for the long cold months to come, so do other wildlife.
I’ve stocked up my bird feeder with fatty nuts and within two days I have had a plethora of blue tit and coal tit coming to gather the spoils.
Trees have dutifully fruited, their seeds now littering the ground. Some have started to shed their leaves, and those that haven’t will be soon to follow over the next few weeks, leaving trails of crisp, soggy or else springy carpets underfoot that will be home to insects, amphibians and even small mammals — so leave them be. Or if you must be productive, do it for the joy of making compost, but be sure to leave some for the wildlife too.
My neighbour has an oak tree in their garden. It hasn’t joined the great unshedding yet, but it has dropped hundreds of acorns that are being hunted and gathered by squirrels, magpies and even rats. I know some people think rats are gross, that they don’t belong in our gardens, but if I didn’t have rats in my garden, then I might not be so incredibly lucky to hear an owl hooting most nights in the oak tree. Rats *are* part of nature and the circle of life that is endlessly connected. I am humbled to have rats right alongside bees, birds and squirrels in my garden — just so long as they *stay* in the garden.
Autumn moves quickly, from frenzied to tranquil, and so does the wildlife experiencing it. The absurdity is…
As much as I love autumn, it is the season that makes me weep the most. We should be preparing for a winter of cosy rest. Instead, we’re living an endless spring of toiling for our overlords as the joy of seasonality is stolen from us.
We continue to propel ourselves through the same routines as we have done all summer long — ignoring our bodies as they scream for us to snack a little harder, sleeps a little longer and live a little slower. We ignore our body clock, or rather our economies and those in power ignore it, forcing us to push through the very thing our bodies need — rest and recuperation. Under the regime of capitalism, we are forced to separate ourselves from the cycles of nature, we lose the joy of truly being part of the seasons and resting right alongside the trees and animals outside.
Take this as a very deep hint to take back some joy and lean into your body clock when and where you can. The society around you will push you to manufacture joy through being productive, but autumn is not the season of prolonged productivity. Autumn is the season of winding down, so cue the prep for rest.