It’s properly autumn now. I’ve had the sniffles and coldsore to prove it, it’s chillier, i’m thinking about warm coats rather than nice ones. It’s my favourite time of year.
When I was a kid it was mainly because i knew my birthday was coming up, which thanks to my eccentric parents usually meant a short wait until a big assed halloween party rather than more timely birthday celebration. I got to have cool stuff, like frog juice instead of limeade and bat blood instead of cherryade. I got to see my friends witchy demonic alter-egos, and i always won the prize for fancy dress at the school disco (one year when my sister had been given a VHS of ‘thriller’ i religiously watched the making of documentary and re-created a john landis style zombie costume, complete with gin hat and real dirt). Since then halloween has been my favourite festival, without the underlying sorrow of other religious holidays, with an emphesis on cutting capers and having fun, where nobody looks stupid and everyone gets to try – everyone gets to let go, for whatever reason they want to give, but with most accepting that, fuck it, it’s fun. I lost sight of that for a while, but now the bat wings are turning up in poundland and the glittery skulls are on the shelves of asda I’m feeling the childish, joyous excitement of things again, and it feels so damn good!
The light changes in autumn, with the dawn having the decency to happen at an hour when i can watch it and and dusk taking its time about setting, with such glorious colours! Reds are never quite as red as they are at this time of year, and orange changes from vulgar to regal. Despite the temperature change, things look warmer, the sun not dazzling but illuminating, moving from a bright blue flootlight to something with the same feel as a candle flame or hearth fire.
And finally there’s the smell in the air, one you just notice one day in early september. It speaks of things to come, potential and freedom. All my own associations I hasten to add – the start of every school year was the point where i’d think ‘This year things will be different’, which was emphesised when i went to uni the first time. Despite that ending badly, my big strides to sorting my shit out have been centred around returning to college, and now…. the smell of autumn is indelibly written into my internal coding as a signifyer of happiness and personal strength.
(plus when i walk through fallen leaves i pretend i’m stomping on MASSIVE CORNFLAKES)