Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gold and yellow and red and brown.

I'm not going to give any details as to the big picture concerning my return to Austria and my new-ish life here - because, you know, spoilers and stuff - but I want to give you glimpses, of course. I want to keep sharing. And what I want to share today is autumn.

I'm aware that I can't actually share it with you because it's a season and not a physical thing and it doesn't belong to anyone, but of the seasons it's my absolute favourite and I by sharing it I mean share my view of it, my love of it, and my excitement over it.

Colour. It changes. And with it it changes everything else around it. Everything invariably looks different in autumn. There is a melancholy about everything, not just places but also the things we do and even ourselves. The grey sky with its low hanging clouds, tendrils of mist creeping around and whole fields of fog, dead and dying leaves all over every open surface.

It puts us in close proximity of those things we don't usually think about: the surprisingly quick passing of time, the evanescence and ephemerality of everything we are and do, death.

There's two things we can do with the realization of all those truths of life, that things pass and vanish and have an expiration date. Either we dwell and get sad, or we look beyond and see how precious our now is. Our appreciation grows. Our wish and will to make the best of everything we have and fight for what we still want.

Yes, I know, how very naive of me to assume this is he we all can make ourselves think. Of course we can't, not one hundred percent of the time. But if you take the warm, soft blanket that is melancholy and curl up in it, all cozy and comfortable, and peek out from your new vantage point instead of hiding completely underneath and letting sadness bury you, you'll notice the glow that's about everything.

All those dead plants everywhere, they're not actually dead. They're preparing for the new life that comes after the winter.

Okay, wannabe philosopher segment done.

Next up: temperature. I'm often told how weird I am because of this, but I love the cold weather.

Walking outside all bundled up in a thick jacket with gloves and a scarf, seeing your breath puff like little clouds every time you exhale, wearing warm socks and drinking tea even when you're inside - I love it all.

This year, having missed my favourite season and the cold months of the year in general so many times in a row, my excitement has risen to ridiculous (but not alarming) levels - to the amusement of my friends and family.

And there's so many little things that come with this season, aside from the aforementioned tea (which is number one, though):

There's chestnuts and pumpkins and pine cones and soup and new wine and spectacular sunsets and apples and grapes and tangerines and nuts and a general laziness and sleepiness around us all and staying in with a book and red cheeks and icy blue skies and that special kind of quiet. And, I have to say it again: tea.

Lastly: anticipation. The one most people feel and can identify with most easily. Autumn is not only spectacular in and if itself, it's also the herald that opens the season that so many love the most. Winter? No. Christmas!

Mulled spiced wine and gingerbread start invading outdoor markets and grocery store shelves. In this area, not just Austria but most of the region here in central Europe, stalls are starting to be built in parks and town squares for the upcoming Christmas markets. It's still almost two months away, but questions are already being asked about presents and wishlists, colour schemes for trees and decorations, even plans for New Year's. It's crazy, but it's everywhere.

This is probably what gets many through a season they don't like, because top them it's dreary and sad. Me, I embrace it.

Any given evening I spend at home I make myself a big cup of tea, put on my new crochet slippers, let the cat hop on my lap to warm up, and read. It's gorgeous.

No idea if anyone who previously didn't understand my sentiment now has a better grasp of how I feel, but this is it. I love autumn. Love it. Missed it like crazy when I wasn't here, and now it's the main reason I can adapt top being back. Because autumn, the way I described it earlier, with this blanket of melancholy and tranquility, it feels like one big hug.

Which is great.