In the past, whenever autumn came around in the northern hemisphere, I was sure to receive an email from my mom, mentioning the burst of beautiful colors surrounding her on walks. With the Dutch equivalent of “You should see all the trees! They are turning yellow, orange and red. So pretty…” she tried to convince me I was missing out on the magical change of the seasons. I would agree it must be spectacular – I grew up near the forests – but I subconsciously shivered, looked out of our boat’s windows at the blue sky, the turquoise water and the white beach and tried to imagine wearing a thick coat, while actually being pretty comfy in my bikini. Nope. Perpetual summers were definitely better!
Now that Mark and I are semi-settled outside of the tropics, the four seasons have become a reality again. And, I have to admit, ever since the fall started in earnest, I’ve reveled in the colors around me. It has been such a pleasure to walk over layer upon layer of fallen leaves (except when I kick hidden rocks or roots), sink into them and rustle through them. And the smell! Being surrounded by ever-changing, brightening colors above and beyond – green, yellow, orange, crimson, deep red – while walking in nature or driving through neighborhoods, has filled me with joy. So much so that I have probably annoyed many a companion with my constant “Oh, it’s so pretty!”, “Look at the colors!”, “Wow, that’s so nice!” while releasing a big sigh and producing my dreamiest smile. The unusually warm temperatures did not hurt either, and might have played a trick with our experiences and expectations.
Autumn being a “real autumn” for a change is something special, a kaleidoscope of colors, a spectacle of Mother Nature, a display I have truly enjoyed. I didn’t miss my bikini at all. There is, however, one negative about it… winter is next. And that will generate a whole set of different sentiments!