Apparently, the cold spell has arrived, without warning the temperature dropped as did the leaves. The frost fell overnight, it was on the cars and the roads, even the grass was crisp underfoot. A crunch of ice was heard with each fresh step on the pavement. This was my morning wake-up call as I noticed that everything had changed.
I realised that I would have to enter into a new phase of my oh-so-British obsession with the weather for this end of the year. The Americans would call this season 'Fall' - I begin to understand the term now. Everything falls.
Yesterday evening there was a significant drop in temperature to below 8 C. The night dragged the temperature lower still. This morning it had not risen much above 2 C. I knew for sure that the new season had arrived. In a mere twenty four hours the temperature has fallen by over 10 C. My heart dropped with the mercury.
Although the sun is shining brightly in the clear blue sky it is no consolation to my bones. I don't like the cold weather. That is the only reason why I have not yet moved to a country I love so much: Canada (the Canadians do have better systems for dealing with the cold than us Brits do so it is still a serious consideration).
When a cousin first arrived in England from Jamaica he awoke the first morning and looked out of the bedroom window. As I passed by his opened door I saw him stood there with a puzzled look settled on his brow. I asked if he was OK.
"Nah man," he answered. "I see the sun shining but me caant feel it. Me nuh understaand whaa gwann."
"Welcome to the mocking sun," I replied with sardonic laughter. "This is Britain in November. You left the warmth near the equator I’m afraid."
It looked like the same sun he saw every day of his life in Jamaica, and indeed it was but from this different physical perspective the sun did not touch him as it did just one day earlier.
Things are not always as they seem. Things are not always as we are used to them. The familiar things fall away and are replaced by new strange times.
We will adjust – it just takes time.
From my late evening excursions yesterday I began to think about the layers of clothing I will have to wear now. Layers of protection against the persistent pain of the near zero weather. The wind is the worst. It works in conjunction with the sun and creeps upon you unawares. Unsettling you without warning.
There is nothing I can do to stop the weather change. What I can do is to adjust my behaviour to match it and manage my attitude through this fall time. I have to focus on the things I can control; the cold weather is not one of them.
By the time we British have adjusted to the cold weather it will be spring again and the earth will be bringing forth new life. We can have our own spring in our lives at any time. When the autumn or fall visits us we must, like I did today, dress appropriately and plan to suit the current time. There is no point acting like you are in yesterday or tomorrow. We must dress both our bodies and our minds to best equip us to deal with the wind and the frost that may beset us on our paths. We must deal with the present because this is where we are.
As soon as this season in my life is complete the next one will appear and I will be ready. I will see the signs.
We have today. We have now.
I, for one, am using my fall time to see the beauty around me and find my moments of happiness in each and every day.
I may, however, be doing it wearing a hat, scarf, gloves, thermals ... you get the picture I’m sure.