Advocacy Musings for September 18
As I write this it is the start of September and it also feels a lot like the beginning of autumn. It may seem at little early to be saying this but for a while now there has been a refreshing sharpness in the air. A television weather forecaster announced just the other day that autumn had indeed arrived and uttered an apology to his viewers at the same time. In my view, however, there is no apology needed. Autumn is my favourite season.
What is it about this time of year that I particularly like? I could say the colours and of course that would be true. The golds and many shades of brown and red and green are stunningly beautiful on the leaves of the trees wherever you are in this county from now until the trees are empty of them. I enjoy the blush of pink, red, orange on surprising apples, sudden morning mist billowing white out of the hidden creases in the valley below our house and other special hues and shades, such as the startling yellow of the harvest moon.
But that wouldn’t be enough. It not just the colours, it is the smells too; garden fires in the warm/cold autumn air, the dank odour of leaves as they fall and pile on the pavements and roadsides. Sounds too: there is something different, even about the noise of tractors and the hoot of owls at this time of year. Yes, something distinctly autumnal.
John Keats’ famous lines: “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, close-bosom friend of the maturing sun; conspiring with him now to load and bless with fruitfulness the vines that round the thatch eaves run…..” cannot be surpassed in his ode to Autumn. But nevertheless I’ve had a go!
The morning mist insists on staying in the field, thin sun beats on.
Eventually the mist will yield
revealing rusty gold and red of leaves rustling in the autumn breeze
like old-time courtiers silky sleeves,
last flowers of summer’s softening hue and once dry grass awash with dew.
This, autumn’ s song is brought to you
to wake us gently from our dreams back to reality, it seems.
Well maybe it’s not Keats but in any case it is not just the sounds and sights and smells that are attractive about autumn. This year particularly there is, I feel, a sense of relief. The heat and haze of summer is over and the season is at last replaced by a period which is more honest – a time of change and transition which does not pretend to be anything it is not. Summers can so often be disappointing. Autumn seldom is. This month’s musing may have strayed a long way from advocacy. Or maybe not. I have heard it said that some people may not want advocacy so much if they are enjoying a good summer. It could be true that once summer is over “reality” kicks in again. But that may not be a bad thing. We know where we stand and can prepare for winter.
Peter Dawson – Advocate/Senior Advocacy Development Worker, Peaks and Dales Advocacy.
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