I find myself seeking out the little pools of autumn light around the house. I sink into them and bathe like a lizard, absorbing all the warmth and goodness from the sun in the knowledge that winter, and increasing darkness, will soon be upon us. Like a squirrel I am storing up this light in preparation for the bleak months ahead.
I find myself doing a similar thing with the children. They seem to fight so much at the moment that I bathe in the times when they play beautifully together; in the times when they hug me; in the times when they say “yes mummy”. For some reason ‘cross’ seems to be the default reaction to most things at the moment. And as one child moves into a happier, more balanced place, another hits a developmental shift and spirals down into grumpy oblivion, wailing that “nothing is right!”
The leaves swirl down and pile in drifts on the terrace outside my writing room. The beech hedges have lost their fresh green colour, and are now a patchwork of crunchy oranges, yellows, golds and browns. They are on the turn. I take a deep breath of this cycle of nature around me and remember that all life is like that. It can seem the slowest thing at times, and the fastest at others. But the leaves have to curl up
in order for the new life to appear.
The same can be said for my children. There are days when all they seem to do is crunch, groan, twist, creak, moan. They are on the turn. But it is a season.
And I know that just when it starts to feel impossible to manage anymore, they will move on. The transition complete. New buds will form, old ways of doing things will be gone, and it will all feel fresher.
But for now, I collect up all the goodness of the warm moments and as I fill up my very cells with the decaying autumn light that streams through my windows, I remember the cycle of all things.
Light to dark, dark to light.
Fallen leaf, to tiny bud.
Each shift can feel hard work, but as the light changes, so do we.
And I will keep seeking out the light in it all.