Piles of golden, rust and burgundy leaves gently gather on the pavement, lining the street with colour as they fall from the trees.
Sunlight filters through branches laden with chestnuts, acorns and conkers and dances in ripples across the floor, illuminating the fallen leaves like sparks of fire. The air is cold and crisp.
It is October and Autumn is in full swing.
At lunchtime I leave the office to take a walk through my local park. As soon as my feet find the littered grass I am at peace; transported back to a moment in my childhood when many hours were spent happily tearing through piles of leaves almost as high as I was, sending them spilling and spinning out around me. Bunching great handfuls of the brittle things and hurling them towards the sky alongside my laughter.
Autumn is steeped in nostalgia for me. The cold yet sunshine filled months bring back happy memories that make me smile even now when I reflect back upon them. Pockets stuffed with shiny conkers, the first time I discovered a puffball…shocked laughter when my brother kicked it and it exploded in a cloud of spores.
And there is something symbolic about Autumn. Most things are dying and in varying stages of decay…but the colours and scenery make it all so very beautiful it is hard to see the death in something that feels so full of vitality and life. September through to November are gentle, peaceful months creeping in quietly and leaving just the same.
As I walk through the park I love to watch the plump squirrels scramble and dig in to the soil, hiding away their food for the cold months ahead. The birds still sing their songs, but it’s as if the tempo rises with their increasing sense of urgency…Winter is just around the corner.
In this park I feed the birds, holding my palm out flat and feeling a sense of pure happiness when they land, if only for a fleeting moment- a snap of the camera lens.
But it’s not just the natural treasures that make Autumn so special and exciting, although without a doubt in my mind they hold the most significance.
The Autumn months are filled with glittering fireworks exploding with colour across a smoke-streaked sky. They are filled with late evening funfairs and syrup-coated apples. Mulled wine and steaming hot stews after tiring days spent at work. Carving pumpkins and lighting candles. They are months of comfort. Months of plans and months of memories.