There is something special about this time of year. The leaves are turning, fires are burning and there is a slight spiced smell in the air. In the summer months, everyone spends his or her time complaining about the rain, or getting burnt in the sun, one of the most frustrating British traits. In the autumn, bad weather is to be expected, and therefore, all those glorious crisp sunny mornings, are looked upon as joyous occasions for all to enjoy.
Another aspect that I love about autumn is that it helps me to remember how far I have come. Although I went into hospital in the June, it was not until the late September, early October that I started to be able to remember. I have fond memories of sitting by the duck pond in my wheel chair, watching the world go by. It was also the time that I was moved from the main hospital into rehab. For me, and my family, this was a huge step. From a girl that was in a coma, unable to walk or talk, I had finally come to the stage where I was able to learn how to live again.
One place that I always love to visit at this time of year is Dartington Gardens. Although in spring there are colourful flowers in all directions, it is the autumnal months that really showcase the beauty of the gardens.
The other day, someone suggested that the best part of autumn is that the conkers are ready. I suppose what they were really saying was that the best part of autumn is the nostalgia it brings of childhoods spent playing with natures gifts, rather than the children of today’s addiction to all things smart. I have fond memories of soaking my conker in vinegar the night before and dousing it in nail varnish to make it as strong as possible. It is those sorts of memories that make me love autumn.
Autumn brings with it a sense of ending, with leaves dying and holidays finishing; but autumn also allows for new beginnings. Perhaps this is why our friends across the Atlantic celebrate thanksgiving at this time of year. Maybe we should take a leaf from their books and take the time this autumn to think about everything we have in our lives and how lucky we are. That way, we can celebrate all that we have and be thankful for all that has happened.
And I suppose that is what it has meant for me. Four years ago, that autumn was the time that I first realised that my old life had ended. It was the time that I started to look forward to the new life that I had, and made me excited about the future I had in front of me.
This autumn will be no different.
I will spend this autumn, gazing out at the golden, falling leaves, thinking about what the future will bring, and being thankful for all that I have.