This week's #FridayReflection is to reflect on the changing seasons. Autumn is just beginning here in Australia and I thought it was quite reflective of my stage of life. It feels like I'm still in Summer, but things are cooling down and there is a refreshing breeze and a hint of Winter to come - much like midlife.
I love Autumn as a season - it would be my second favourite season to Spring. It is a time of crispness and of cool mornings and evenings without the all enveloping cold and rain of Winter. In Western Australia Winter is fairly mild compared to those below zero seasons in other countries, but it can still seem dull and interminable as you navigate your way through dark mornings and rainy days.
Autumn on the other hand has all the benefits of Summer without the extra hot days. It is a lot like midlife where the heat and intensity of youth (and then parenting youths!) has worn off but there are still all those long leisurely days before the onset of the aches and pains of old age.
I am constantly aware of midlife being the time I have to enjoy being my own person again. The responsibilities of parenting children are behind me - I just get to be the cheer squad or the sounding board now that they are grown and flown. I feel like I'm waking up again and rediscovering what life has to offer. I'm open to new experiences, I'm not tied up with what other people think is important, I'm free to be my true self.
I don't envy those in the Summer or Spring of life - I've been there and enjoyed those seasons of heat and clamour and busyness. Instead, these midlife years are long and languorous - full of days where life cruises by. I know that Winter is coming, but it is still a long way off and there is time to slow down and enjoy the colours and vibrancy of the Autumn of life.