Victoria Walsh gives autumn a fresh face by considering the unique pleasures that can be enjoyed during this more-than-just-transitionary season.


Creative Commons License by lee

Dull skies, sheets of grey drizzle, shrinking daylight hours and a chill that hangs in the air, creeping into our houses, halls and lecture theatres – these things have pushed out the last remnants of summer in our little seaside town. Autumn is here. The beginning of the semester is behind us now as we settle into the throng of academic life for another year. 

Waking up to what sounds like a hurricane raging outside our windows does little to entice us to making that 10am lecture, and with the arrival of Autumn there might also come a dampening of spirits to match our dreary weather – certainly for those amongst our student population who hail from more amicable climates. Yet Autumn, in my opinion, brings with it certain charms, like the comfort to be found in a steaming cup of tea or the warm glow that emanates from the windows and doorways of the places we go to take shelter from the elements. 

A word I have always associated with autumn is ‘crisp.’ Crisp sunlight which is bright but offers only a touch of warmth. Crisp leaves on footpaths. Crisp morning air upon stepping outside for the first time. It is this ‘crispness’ which for me makes Autumn a pleasant prelude to its much harsher sibling season. Yet, this crispness can be brief and easily missed. Autumn is a transient time during which the world around us changes from one state to another whilst we are immersed in reflecting on the summer that has passed and anticipating the winter to come. 


Creative Commons License by Indy Kethdy

While life appears to drain slowly from the landscape, our lives just seem to get busier – bursting with events, meetings, socials and deadlines as we draw nearer to the halfway point of the semester. Soon we will have reached the academic milestone that is Raisin weekend, and after that will come Halloween festivities, before all of a sudden teaching is over and exams are the final hurdle between us and our Christmas holiday. Hours and days and weeks seem to soar by and I for one often find myself wondering just where the time has gone. A transitory period indeed.

So, in the middle of all this progression and the whirlwind of day to day life, I can’t help but think that sometimes we should bring the race through Autumn to a more gentle pace. Slow down and appreciate the crisp, fresh air and the golden-red hue of leaves falling from trees before they are gone altogether. It may be a time for change and movement, but just once in a while why not come to a halt and appreciate life’s simpler pleasures? After all, Autumn is here, not just passing by.



Victoria Walsh



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