Its funny how, as you get older, you discover and accept more and more about yourself and who you are.
I realised recently that I’m a sucker for anything that brings transformations and for that reason my favourite times of year have to be spring and autumn. I guess this is very much a geographic thing as well because there are certainly places in the world where these seasons might slip past without note, but in the UK spring brings that most wonderful introduction of colour back into the world, with the blooming of huge golden daffodil patches and lush little bright green leaves unfurling on the trees. There is a sense of relief that light and warmth and the ability to spend more time outdoors are within reach.
The Easter celebration (from the point of view of a complete pagan) means that lambs are being born and chicks are hatching, and for me, this symbolises the new year – not January 1st when the ground is frozen and the dark damp branches of seemingly lifeless trees stand in stark silhouette against the grey sky.
Equally, autumn is a time when change is all around. I’m almost more entranced by the stunning colours of turning leaves – the vibrancy of the candy-apple reds and burnished golds – than I am by the spring flowers. And I love the little flurry of activities that accompany this short-lived season – conker collecting, pumpkin carving and fireworks. An excuse to update your wardrobe and show off a layered look that only works when the temperature wavers in the middle of the dial.
I understand people loving summer. I love summer with its long light days, warmth and sunshine, al fresco dining and proms in parks. But it’s not my favourite because it can feel relentless at times – when a heatwave keeps you awake at night for weeks on end (seems unlikely in England but it has been known!), or the kids become restless three weeks into the holidays, or you realise that there hasn’t been a single interesting programme on TV for months.
But winter? Never. Christmas – yes, but that is not winter, that is a festival of light which is celebrated from early autumn onwards nowadays, and it brings joy to an otherwise cold dark season. But come January there seems to be nothing good to say about the way the world feels (unless it’s your birthday of course but that’s something I can’t personally comprehend as I’m an August baby!). I think the thing that winter-ites don’t seem to acknowledge is the effect of the darkness – Seasonal Affective Disorder wasn’t a term coined for no reason.
Give me April showers and Easter egg painting or a pumpkin spiced latte and some leaf kicking any day!