Signs of autumn

Back when I used to teach Druidry to people, I spent a lot of time thinking about the wheel of the year, and what seasonal events it connected with. I came to the conclusion that the trees being bare of leaves might be an important one for Samhain.

We’re a few days from Samhain now, and many of the trees around me are still green. Some have started to turn yellow and some leaves have started to fall. This could be one of those years where leaves are still present into Yule. It has happened before.

I spent some of last week further north (I live in the south west of the UK). There, autumn was further ahead, but in the place I was staying, there leaves had, I was told, just gone brown and started falling.

This morning, I woke to my first proper frost of the season. Normally this is a sad moment in the wheel of the year for me. I do not enjoy the cold, I am not good on slippery surfaces. But today, I am glad to see the first frost because it’s so late. It’s a relief to have it there.

In the last year or so, the number of rough sleepers around the town has increased considerably. First frosts are very bad news for them. Any scope for enjoying these conditions is rooted in privilege and it is so very important to keep sight of that. Don’t tell people off for being killjoys if they aren’t keen on autumn and winter. Poverty makes being cold a much bigger problem. Yes, autumn is lovely if you can put on your fluffiest socks and read a book by your log fire, looking up to enjoy the scenery outside the window. If you can’t afford the heat to keep the damp at bay, it is a miserable time of year.

For anyone who suffers SAD, this is a tough time of year. It can add to other forms of depression too – you can be practically affected by the cold and dark in ways that increase depression and anxiety. Having to travel to and from work in the dark is an obvious example. The cold can exacerbate pain. For older women with more fragile bones, a broken hip is a life limiting disaster, and the frost and ice pose a real threat. There are many other such examples. No one should add to the misery for people who cannot enjoy what autumn brings.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

4 responses to “Signs of autumn

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Signs of Fall.

    I have a number of different impressions of Fall as it deepens. First trying to get my outside wood staining and sign letter painting down before it becomes too cold. This includes trying to paint the wood pecker holes drilled in the letters on one sign. Not certain why my yellow painted routed letters were popular.

    Layers of clothing are another sign. Much of the year I only only wear a single layer of clothing, so when I have to add a second layer, a long sleeved shirt, or a light jacket it is noticeable, more so when I have to put on the heavier coat.

    I am much more popular with my cat as it get colder. Lately he has suddenly become a lap cat, rare enough for him. However I suspect my warm lap is the reason. He also spends more time in bed with me, for the same reason.

    Lastly is turning on the propane tanks and lighting the heater. I always forget much that I know about getting the heater pilot light lit. I have sometimes used up three dozen matches in the process. This time far better, I only used ten matches. Once lit, the heater stays on 24/7 until it warms up enough to turn it off in early Spring.

  • lornasmithers

    Ditto once upon a time by Samhain/Nos Galan Gaeaf the trees were almost bare and most here only around 1/3 bare and there are still greens. Most troubling. It seems winter is getting later in arriving each year. I was glad to see the first frost too.

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