If you believe the calendar, autumn has well and truly arrived. As a result, I suddenly find myself with an unnerving desire to read poetry. I’ve been pulling out all my favourite anthologies, blowing off the dust and rediscovering some of my favourite poems.
I go through fits and starts with poetry. There are times when all I want to read is some lyrical verse, and I find myself with a burning desire to start experimenting with the poetic form again. However, the inclination to write poetry is normally fleeting. I find myself becoming frustrated with the confines of poetry and I soon put my pen down. In my home are reams of unfinished poems, hiding away in drawers and cupboards. They whisper half-secrets and paint pictures of confusion and restlessness. I make a promise to myself – one day I will finish them.
This is the season for savouring the written word. For slowing down and taking the time to enjoy a good novel or poem. I am someone who loves the sunshine, and summer is one of my favourite seasons. Who doesn’t love basking under the warm rays of the sun? However, come autumn, and that sun becomes far more beautiful. Sometimes its appearance might be far too fleeting but when it takes centre stage the whole world looks gorgeous in its heavy orange glow. There is just something about the cold, crisp air of an autumnal day.
Yet, I find myself rather impatiently waiting for “proper” autumn. On Jersey I’m still waiting for autumn and its glorious cacophony. I want to hear the crunch of leaves as I step outside, the gentle roar of the central heating firing up and the bubble of a stew being cooked in the slow cooker. It feels like autumn is teasing me. It’s almost here, and it is slowly unfurling itself, but we still haven’t seen proper autumn in all its glory.
I want to wake up on a morning and find a cold blue sky. I want the leaves to turn burnt orange and show-stopping red. I want them to fall to the ground, carpeting the ugly, grey tarmac of the lanes in a glorious rainbow.
I know it’s not “real” autumn because my windows aren’t fogging up yet, and I’m not sipping on hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. I waited rather impatiently for the fruit in the surrounding hedgerows to grow plump and juicy. I wanted to forage, and it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was able to fill my pockets with juicy peaches and green shiny apples that left a sharp tang in your mouth as you bit into them. The blackberries weren’t ready though. They disappointed with their lacklustre appearance and bitter taste.
I need to be patient. Autumn will come when she is ready. There is no rushing her. In the meantime, I will enjoy the leftovers of summer, the warm weather and the greenery. I will potter in the garden, taking care not to disturb the solitary sunflower that seems to be growing. The sunflower gives me hope, I see it as a metaphor for happiness. I didn’t plant that seed but somehow it found its way into our garden and up amongst the bramble of the rose bush it’s growing, looking for light.
That sunflower reminds me that happiness can be found anywhere. We just have to be prepared to look for it sometimes. That flower is a reminder that I need to live in the now and find enjoyment in every single day.