Of all the seasons Mother Nature sends our way, autumn is my favourite. I love the riot of colour, the sunny days with an edge of frost in the air, the smell of woodsmoke, the creeping quiet that settles over everything as the nights draw in. We are fortunate to live close to the edge of the Peak District and swathes of stunning countryside that only grow more beautiful with the turning season. But there is a lot to be said for an urban autumn too. In fact, discovering a little bit of autumn in the midst of urban (or suburban) sprawl increases the delight taken from it.
There is a road near our house that is lined by lovely 1930s houses and with a line of trees in front of the properties on one side. When I still drove to work, it was one of my favourite tiny pleasures to drive down that road on a breezy autumn day. The trees turned the most incredible range of colours, from a deep crimson through to a vibrant saffron yellow. When the wind blew, it would send a shower of golden leaves swirling and dancing down the street. There is something so mesmerising and comforting in that sight.
We’re only at the very beginning of the season but already there are little signs of autumn popping up in odd and unexpected corners. A light scattering of leaves along the edge of the pavement; a hidden patch of blackberries tucked at the side of the main road under a billboard. And no matter where you are, there’s that certain scent in the air and that particular slant of light that only autumn brings, reminding us that the world turns on whether we’re surrounded by trees or skyscrapers.
So off I go to snuggle up inside my sweaters with my scarves at the ready, draw the curtains against the darkening sky and revel in the best bit of the year.