And just like that… it’s fall. Starting with the first yellow leaf that caught my eye on the long road from Appenzell to Lake Garda, the summer leaves have given up their ambitious greens one by one in favour of their rich and vibrant autumn colours…
And just like that – with a swirl of wind – we have been blown into another school year. As the colours of the summer fade into our memory, we face the new year’s many challenges. There are needs to be met in every direction and a lot of our time is spent feeling unsettled and “adrift”… Life as a teacher is a whirlwind on the best of days and can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Time has a way of speeding up in those moments; they seem to slip away like the autumn leaves. On the upside – spending time with kids in any season makes the colours so much more vibrant. Just looking at the great big world with child-coloured glasses is enough to change perspective completely – they see the world in terms of now! It is impossible not to join in the celebration.
The joyful colours of leaves and pumpkins and corn mazes bring some joy to a season that might otherwise be a stressful time. We are reminded to look around us, to breathe deeply, and to find the moments of calm and quiet that help to make our daily life so rich and full. Speaking of full – we mustn’t forget the joys of being grateful!
October Robert Frost (from A Boy’s Will, 1915)
“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.”