Musings

The scent of autumn

It’s the first day of October. It was raining this morning, the sort of rain you know is not going to be over in 5 minutes. When I opened the window it smelled like autumn.

I can’t explain what seasons smell like but each one is very distinct. Winter is calm but the cold air has a little bite to it. It can also often feel stale, motionless, like nothing is happening. Spring brings a soft, new aroma. On bad days it smells like nature is trying too hard though. I think people with allergies will agree. Summer is full and vibrant, some days it’s like the ocean might be right outside your window. Or a garbage dump. Depends on how long and how hot the summer has been.

Autumn is here

And then autumn: the wind changes, everything has the scent of rain to it. The smell is -to me- both nostalgic and dispiriting. It reminds me of collecting leaves, acorns and chestnuts during school trips, wearing rubber boots and raincoats that were a size or two too big. I can’t really explain why this gets me down – I like collecting leaves! – but somehow it signals the end of a carefree time.

Although the seasons have less of a defined meaning to me now as a grown up, these ideas have persisted. So when I opened the window today my first thought was one of disappointment. Summer is really over.

But then, quite unexpectedly, it also gave me the feeling that change was coming. Like the wind was saying : “It’s time for a new season, summer was exceptionally long this year”. And I thought, maybe this won’t be so bad.