My favourite season is, oddly, autumn. I say “oddly” because I hate the cold. I spent my youngest years in the warmth of Queensland, then tragically moved to Victoria with its icy cold touch of death. I’m pretty sure I am allergic to the cold, it’s awful. But I love autumn, minus the roof lifting wind. And spring is almost equal in my eyes.
Both of them are transitory seasons, they sit in the middle of what I have come to consider the main seasons. Summer is hot, winter is cold, but spring and autumn are in between. Sometimes cold, sometimes hot, often warm. Sometimes dry, sometimes wet, sometimes both in the same day. Sometimes windy, sometimes still. Today was a perfect example of spring. We had a beautiful warm sunny day, the kids had fun playing outside. Tonight is cold, windy and pouring down rain, the local region is flooding all over the place, roads are closed all around us.
Autumn and spring both contain equinoxes, which if you think about them, are balancing, transitory, liminal times. Night and day are of almost exactly equal length, at about 12hours each. Autumn equinox is the transition, that liminal moment from the time when the days are longer than night, to when the nights become longer than day. Spring equinox is of course the opposite, the liminal moment from shorter days and longer nights, to longer days and shorter nights.
I absolutely love the heat of summer, and I adore the darkness of winter – but autumn and spring are the ones that really capture me. It’s probably because of my obsession with balance and liminality. I really should be calling myself a Liminal Witch. And it fits, I am Hekatean after all.
Both spring and autumn bring a sense of mystery and the mystical with them, but a different type for each. Autumn conjures a sense of hiding, what’s under those leaves, what’s coming next, what will the day bring – it’s like the feeling of a murder mystery, without the murder. Spring has a similar sort of feeling, but rather than the suspense of a murder mystery, it’s light and airy and speaks of bells and the fae.
Autumn, as I commented on Pagan Tama, always makes me think of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. The feelings that Frodo describes he has in autumn is similar to what I feel. A feeling of something coming, something about to happen, maybe a need to go somewhere. In autumn I do want to curl up with a book but simultaneously travel the forests hunting for mysterious things. Which is good, because I can do that inside of a book anyway.
Spring however, spring wants me to call the mysterious things to me. It makes me want to dance and sing – which I often do as I clean the house. Loreena McKennit never has so much airplay in this house as she does in spring and early summer. I want to see little glowing lights in the night, glow bugs or fairy lights, and visit the markets of the fae – with proper precautions of course!
Spring is perhaps the oddest time for me, especially for people looking in. I am a bit vocal about my distaste for things that are out of season, which is why I can’t stand things like Christmas and Easter, because in Australia it is autumn at Easter and bunnies and eggs make no sense, and it is summer at Christmas so it’s all just terribly annoying. But I make exception for one out of season festival, and that is Halloween. I love Halloween, it’s creepy and weird and scary and fun. I love it, it should be Halloween every day of the year. Living in Australia I have the luck of experiencing the fae-like mystery of spring, whilst also enjoying the autumn mystery that comes through Halloween symbolism.
Autumn is my favourite season, but I have to admit that September and October are in many ways my favourite months, because for me they merge autumn and spring together into some kind of magical super season, full of mystical mystery and creepy warm fun.
Hooray for an Aussie autumnal springtime and all the mystery it brings.