The exceptionally sunny summer draws to a close, and as it does, the days feel different – the temperature has lost its heat, there’s an autumnal dampness in the air and the light has changed…the blues are deeper, the yellows more golden, the greens more vibrant and the reds, richer. All when the sun’s shining, of course…otherwise the greys are certainly heavier!
The footpaths are decidedly soft underfoot, and if you’re lucky when you run through the woods, you’ll glimpse an occasional waft of the mulchy mushroomy undergrowth of autumn…
But just before taking that deep sign of resignation that the summer is truly over, for me it’s essential to take some time for a spot of reflection. A moment to acknowledge the extent of the summertime frolicks before wrapping up the endless, carefree days…and literally ‘wrapping up’ and switching the head back into productivity for the autumn period.
A 3-par course?!
I’ve been extraordinarily blessed to enjoy a super long summer away from the Middle East, which has broadly fallen into three distinct categories, namely –
Refreshing rains of India and oodles of deeply nourishing yoga
Returning to the UK, resuming running over remarkably scorched fields in the searing sunshine
And road-tripping: rolling clouds, the English countryside, and re-uniting with friends and family.
Each phase has had a different energy to them – the first was physical and instructive, yet ‘slow’ time and a powerful time for turning inward. The next, super active, overhot (!) but ‘doing’ time…with no stop-time whatsoever (so it seemed!). And then the last phase has been largely about connection (although interspersed with large swathes of driving!) – on the go and overwhelmingly ‘outward’ time.
There has been tremendous amounts of love and warmth that has been encountered at all stages, and yet at times the pendulum has swung so heavily in one direction – either deep introspection-immersion, deep exercise and implementing (somewhat slightly shallower) amounts of austerity…or all-eating-drinking-and-merriment – a busyness yet non-existent exercise! (Plus the lethargy which accompanies the excessive calorific count of carbohydrate overload!)
This is par for the course, no doubt, on returning ‘home’ for a spell and yet the running theme seems to have been one coming at the expense of the other! (All puns etc etc… : )
Our truest nature to nurture
For me, the overwhelming reflection is how we need a little of each of these…at all times! Of course, some of us need a little more of one than the other, as is our own nature…
But all of us certainly need to make the effort to forge lasting connections with our clan, we require the resetting register of exercise and doing, and we also need to nurture time and space for ourselves to catch our breath – to remember to breathe! – and to assimilate the stimulation, acknowledge the nuances, the achievements, the changes, the challenges, to fully capture the happy times as well as properly process any sadnesses.
Swinging from one extreme to the other can discombobulate, leave us feeling unsettled and out of kilter with our true selves. Whatever the weather, isn’t our aim to ringfence the time and make sacrosanct the space to remain in balance and nurture our nature?
So if you have experienced a summer of extremes (?!), here’s to settling in to the start of the autumn and to refinding the balance…