I just got a notification from my aunt, it’s thirty years ago today that her mother died. My nana.
I remember the day vividly, I was young and at the time I was at an evening rehearsal of a school production.
My mother’s close friend collected me and as I sat in her strange car, I had a terrible sense of foreboding when she wouldn’t answer my questions as to why she had come to collect me and not one of my parents.
Then I got home to my mother, whom I’d never seen in so much pain.
What follows is I suppose, what we’ve all been through. Grief, loss, the clutching of each other in the following days, weeks, months and years ahead. And now the notifications on messenger acknowledging the anniversary.
Today marks the day, and it has been oh so many years since I heard her voice, felt her arms around my childhood bones, smelt her musky perfume.
I wonder if that’s why autumn is such a poignant and nostalgic season for me?
Of course, there have been other family members die since then. And friends.
I mean, it was thirty years ago, of course death has been around, but when my nana died, it was the first time I made it’s acquaintance.
It was the first time I realised that anyone can go at any time without any warning.
So I don’t know whether it’s that experience that marks autumn as a time to let my mind run over past memories, or if it’s just the time of year itself. Either way, these days I find myself revisiting heartaches, letting myself be haunted by old experiences and just generally wallowing in melancholy.
And I don’t mind it.
In fact, I enjoy it.
The nights drawing in, the lighting of fires and candles. The time taken to actively curl up, hide and reflect. It is, after all, a natural time for hibernation.
So, with this in mind, I asked the Instagram Community what their favourite activity is in autumn.
I wanted an autumn to do list, to see what other people loved about this time of year and to ensure I was making the most of these few months of reflection before winter takes hold.
I’m drafting my first newsletter and I want to include everything that’s worth indulging in at this time of year. I’m thinking of investing in a hot chocolate maker, new sweaters, and I have a whole reading and playlist to share with you.
There is definitely a bittersweet feeling about the days, I know people who adore summer and Lord knows when it’s January I am desperate for blue skies and warm air, but I think this time of year is my favourite.
And I’m glad to say, I’m not alone.
Here’s what other people had to say:
@pennywincer : Autumn is my favourite time for rambling. The light, the temperature, the colours. It’s just heaven.
@mollystroud74 : Oh I adore autumn too! I love the temperatures and wearing big sweaters and coming home with rosy cheeks to light a candle. Blankets on the couch. Coziness. So much love for fall!!
@thebookfamilyrogerson : I enjoy collecting all the different leaf colours with Martha – it’s so satisfying to see them all together
@sarahtebb : Campfires and sausages! Always the same answer at this time of year 🤗 walks are also lovely and watching the leaves all turn orange.
@theconstantvoice : I love everything about autumn 😍 The crisp mornings and evenings. The soft, golden afternoon light. Coming home after a woodland walk and lighting candles. Reading, tucked up on the sofa, with endless cups of tea. Halloween
@thewrittensoul : It takes awhile for it to really feel like autumn here in LA, but my favorite fall activity is to make hot apple cider and sip it out of baked apples 🍏 so cozy and delicious
@sheilamurt : Definitely walking about in the woods. Today I was stalking wild mushrooms and really came upon some strange ones.
@thepennyslane : Autumn is just amazing, there so many things to enjoy. Lighting the first fire of the season, cosying up with a hot choc, crunching the leaves underfoot, and brisk morning air. Love it all. 💛🍁🧡
@madelaineblogs : Autumn is my favourite! I love to go on long walks and then head to the local pub for a lunch/warming drink (and grab a spot by the fire if poss) 😍
@sunshinehippo1 : Autumn in Spain varies each year. This year the mornings are cooler and I love to go walking before the heat kicks in. The evenings have just started to cool down and I love to curl up with a hot chocolate and book or tv. It’s lovely after the severe heat wave of this summer
@oonagh.moon : I can’t help but collect conkers, my pockets are full of them already. I used to carry them with me into lectures or exams – they were my version of a stress ball 🌰 I also enjoy carving pumpkins at Halloween 🎃
How is autumn looking where you are? And if you want to get my autumn to do list, sign up to my newsletter – I hopefully should get it finished and out to you this weekend.