In Cape Town this week, we experienced the first slight chill at night. Waking up in the mornings, it is now still dark. Autumn has stepped in. Just this morning, I reached for my fluffy gown and slippers for the first time and on my walk around Lions Head I found a clear, crisp morning. Gone are the sweltering sweaty hikes of a few weeks ago. I relished the pleasant breeze on my face.
A friend who recently moved to Edinburgh reports on the sunny daffodils greeting her in the parks and along the roads right now. I remember how the change of seasons excited me when we lived in Scotland many years ago. It is so much more pronounced than here, where we can plunge straight into winter from summer without warning.
Season changes are a chance to notice change, to reconnect. It is an in between space, a momentary pause before we settle for a time into the next thing. Because paradoxically when we are fully in something we can often lose contact with the now.
We sometimes lose contact with ourselves and surroundings. We go through days, weeks, and months without taking note of anything really. We don’t see how the sun filters through the trees on the pavement, the attractive slant of a son’s jaw, the comfortable hug of a woolly jumper or the way coffee drips into a cup to form a creamy caffeine fix.
When was the last time you felt the sun on your face? When was the last time you were held tightly for a long time? When was the last time you delighted in a dish and devoured it with delight? When was the last time you dirtied your hands with flour or grease in the kitchen or the garage? When was the last time you allowed the notes of a song to seduce you?
In our pursuit of progress and possessions, we have lost sight of the purpose of it all. In our hurry to work more, earn more, save more to spend more, we have forgotten why we are pursuing it all. Isn’t the whole point of it all to live well? And isn’t living well, really living well about appreciation? Appreciating life with all our senses? Isn’t that what it is about?
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//18 March 2022.