Saturday, 26 September 2009

Autumn Melancholy

The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer's ending, a sad monotonous song. 'Summer is over and gone,' they sang. 'Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying.'
The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summer time cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year - the days when summer is changing into autumn - the crickets spread the rumour of sadness and change.'
From Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

Crickets Rhythmically sing their mournful melody
Of monotone by request, but they fail, they fail to soothe the mess
Hands rhythmically grope the sheets again for you
And off-rhythm the time slows to make moments eternal, moments eternal
From 'Angeltread' by Sixpence None the Richer

I love this time of the year, but I find it comes round with an intense, and almost overpowering sense of nostalgia, especially as the days grow shorter and the evenings darker. It doesn't detract from the loveliness of the season, but it is an ominous presence, almost like an ache deep within me. I imagine this mood is the amalgamation of childish excitement and dread, the anticipation of change, and a faint sense of sadness and loss. Autumn is the season associated with things coming to an end, and dying, after all. I remember during childhood, the first scent of autumn in the air signified that the long and idle summer holidays were over, and it was time to return to the routine of school.

This year, the anticipation of change is pressing all the more heavily upon me. I am weighed down by both excitement, and the faintest melancholy. In eight months I will be leaving the place I call home to be nearer to my wonderful fiance, 300 miles away. I am looking forward to the change more than anything, but conversely, I am aware that this will be a year of goodbyes and endings.

Today, a tradition of mine came to an end. Ever since the age of twelve, I have attended an annual craft show with my mother. Over the years other people have joined us, a friend of mine, a friend of my mother's. For the last couple of years it has just been my mother, her friend, and me, and I've found it most enjoyable this way. I am no longer in touch with the friend of mine who used to tag along with us.

The three of us went along to the craft fair today, even though my mother's friend, recently appointed acting head at the school where she teaches, has been extremely busy recently, and both she and my mother have heavy colds. We had a lovely time as always, but ever since returning I have been dogged by the awareness that that might well have been the last time I attend the craft show with them - the ninth year that I have been.

How I have changed over the last eight years, from a twelve year old girl still playing with Sylvanian Families and buying swatches of fabric so that she could make her favourite rabbit a whole wardrobe of dresses, to a twenty year old, pushing twenty-one, carefully choosing sentimental Christmas presents, and a couple of projects for her own entertainment.

I will miss these occasions. I still have the silver 'sand' dolphin I purchased on my first visit to the craft show - she sits on the top of my stereo. On the speaker beside her, sits a mermaid knitted from yarn I purchased from the show two years ago, eager to embark on this new project.

Despite the melancholy I feel about parting with these old traditions, I am also excited about starting new ones. Perhaps there will be a craft show, or something of the sort, that coincides with my mother's visits. And for all I know, I might be able to get the time off (that is assuming I have a job, and have moved by this time next year) and travel down to attend the show with her again.

There will be endings, but there will also be new beginnings, like a light on the horizon, to look forward to. And I am, on the whole, excited about what lies beyond. My family are being very supportive, and I know that I will still see plenty of them. I know that now is the time for change, and I am ready.


Anna said...

This was a lovely post Kess,
full of longing and fabulous thought provoking words.
Can't believe you love craft fairs!
Me too, me too!

Kess said...

Thank you Anna :)
Just thought I would try to describe the jumble of emotions that arise within me at this time of the year.
Wow! That's another thing we have in common!
Craft fairs are brilliant! I came away with a few Christmas presents and one or two new projects for myself!

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