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  • Writer's pictureClare J Cavanagh

The 'Gloamin' of Autumn 2020

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Autumn in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

'Anne of Green Gables' was one of my favourite books as a child. I used to listen on cassette and got out of bed at the critical moments to turn it over, never wanting it to end.

I have many best-loved quotes from that book but I always remember this one on the first day in October every year. It's a day of birthday celebrations for two of my friends (yay!) and also the day I drain my bank account with neverending domestic bills (boooo). But these words are not a reminder on my calendar, nor a pushy envelope sliding through my mailbox.

They are the words that come to me when my book needs the early click of a lamp bulb to bring a poetic 'gloamin' to the pages. When the air chill prescribes the unpacking of heavy jumpers and cosy blankets. When I see the first few leaves turning gold, making a last flamboyant statement before they drop. My uncle says that each leaf has its own moment when it's ready to go. Fluttering down to the ground, they are all unique.

We had to break up with summer this year. That seductive season that told us we could have it all - the long days that would draw us out; the heat that would encourage us to dig deep in our wardrobes for the wild dresses we wear bravely without tights; the smell of the sand and sea that made us want to be brave and dive right in. It was a tease. A series of pledges that are hard to forget.

But autumn is our kindred spirit. That friend that guides us out of a bad situation. Everything is a surprise, not an expectation. It provides us with subtle yet compelling sunsets. It's an artist's pallette of colours that allow us to be creative and to imagine. Autumn is trustworthy. Only reliable promises are bestowed on us.

“It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” ― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

It's the year for autumn to be seen and appreciated in all its glory. Being 'let down' is an uncontrollable force and, during this time, there are so many aspects that can cause pain and confusion. Autumn is not the end of something to feel dreary for, but instead the beginning of a time to engage and focus in a different way.

Let's embrace this world of Octobers. Be explorative. Be passionate. Be creative.

Anne with an E tells us that “tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.” Look for humour in the telling of stories. Glow in the light of any evening that feels dark. Seek peace out amongst the chaos. And call your kindred spirits, who are only a Zoom link away.

Anne of Green Gables, 1985 (Megan Follows & Schuyler Grant)

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