Autumn blues

With autumn just around the corner, I noticed that the general feeling is that people are dreading the time ahead. In that regard, autumn does not have the best image for many: the days are getting shorter, the sun is getting lower, it is cooling down fast and everything is dying. The wine in the late afternoon sun and the barbecue are gradually becoming a challenge; we are slowly preparing for colder times: autumn storms, shadows, rain and wind and maybe snow. These will be times spent mostly indoors.

For many, a gloomy period is dawning what is also called “the autumn blues”. That thought has become so commonplace that it is taken for true. It is even a well-known expression. But is it really true that autumn is when we start to feel differently: more somber, more melancholy, more sad? Admittedly, it has been shown that as the days shorten, we get less daylight. With that, feelings of depression lurk, research shows. Could it also not be that, because it is so widely accepted that this is an autumnal phenomenon, everyone automatically experiences it that way? I reckon that probability is pretty high.

But, like everything else in this world, it’s a matter of choice: how do you want to experience things? Do you choose to go along with the belief that with the onset of autumn you feel gloomy? Or do you choose to see its beauty, or perhaps look forward to winter? Nothing in this is right or wrong, and at the same time everything you think is your reality. Using these examples, you will see that you can turn your thoughts around. If you want to effortlessly even. That means things take on a different perspective and perception. Ask yourself if autumn could be fun.

As a child, I grew up with only 2 seasons: the rainy seasons in the tropics. Frankly, there was nothing about that: it rained hard or not so hard. That was followed by something resembling spring after the rains, and then the dry period arrived -because when the sun shines it is inevitable- but I didn’t know the real seasons. So that “heavy” feeling of what autumn can bring was not in my system. Once in the Netherlands this belief slowly crept into my mind. The result was that at some point I dreaded autumn, not in the least because I had not learned to stand the cold. For years it was for me the most miserable time of the year and I was glad when February was over. Until the time when I started examining my beliefs and thoughts. Autumn was one of them. And I delved deep to see if there was nothing positive to be found.

Now I think autumn is the most beautiful of the 4 seasons. For me it is good that the temperatures are getting normal. That I can still put on something with short sleeves during the day and in the evening go back to wearing socks and a sweater. But I am especially impressed in this season when it comes to the changes in nature. No months are so full of beauty. All the abundance of colors, every shade of copper and gold, the slow dying process, the silence and smell of rotting leaves. I see then the most beautiful light and longest shadows. Decay is all a prelude to winter. Autumn storms and wind are a relief to me: it literally and figuratively blows everything clean.

If I could recommend anything to anyone it would be to look at nature on an autumn walk. See the colors, the mushrooms, sniff the smell and become aware of the morning fog. Kick the piles of leaves like a child. Have fun and cheerfulness in “the autumn blues” time, then you get closer to who you naturally are. Autumn is truly beautiful. All you have to do is be open to it.

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