It’s autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere.
In subtropical Australia, there’s no obvious turning of foliage colour, nor is there the leaf drop people in cooler climes associate with my most favourite of seasons. The changes are more subtle. Unless of course you live in the hinterland on higher elevations, like Mount Tamborine where many exotic deciduous trees and plants thrive. But having lived here on the coast for some years now, I’ve learned to recognise ‘the turning’ and look forward to the new season’s onset.
Certain trees herald the arrival of autumn with a celebration of flowers, like the dwarf flowering gum cultivar Corymbia ficifolia pictured above and the magnificent Buckinghamia or Ivory Curl Tree – both are Australian natives.
When I think of autumn, it’s with the same feeling one might view a well-earned holiday. A time to rest and regroup without the frenzy of summer’s heat filled days. A time to enjoy the gauzy light, the crisper air and balmy evenings. If Summer is a brash tart in vibrant caftans with a champagne cocktail in hand, then Autumn is her gentle sister reclining on a chaise lounge in soft silken pyjamas, sipping green tea.
Soon my deciduous gingers will go to ground for their well-earned rest. I will trim their dead foliage back to the nubby roots in preparation for their spring awakening. They have produced spectacular flowers this season. I don’t begrudge them some time off. Other plants will slow their growth too, seemingly glad for the change of pace. Even the worms in my worm farm will respond to the change by eating and proliferating less. A lesson I still have to learn.
I ponder how autumn affects me, my moods, my metabolism, my mode of being. I decide this seasonal shift indeed affects me across the whole spectrum of my life. I sense a change in the passage of time mostly, a desire to enjoy the slowing down of nature and follow suit. Autumn invokes reflection, contemplation. It’s an opportunity to read, to write, to think more, to plan ahead for my spring garden. It’s about better sleeping, longer walks, different foods, especially seasonal fruits.
What does autumn mean for you?
Now please excuse me while I change. My chaise lounge awaits.
Click on above pictures for captions.