Autumn is an inspiring time of change, review and renewal

Aug 30, 2023 | Insights

The change from summer to autumn is a significant turning point in the year and a good time to review our lives and circumstances.
I live in the countryside, where cereal farming predominates. For most of the year, the countryside moves along slowly and steadily. Even spring can creep up on us almost unnoticed until the arrival of the swallows, swifts and martins from Africa in April.

However, the change at this time of year, as summer slips into the mists and mellow fruitfulness of autumn, is dramatic. In just a few weeks, the countryside transforms from the golden yellow of ripe corn to the dark brown and a dusting of green of ploughed and planted fields.

You see change as well in the light, which becomes less glaring, more gentle and takes on a liminal quality as the sun’s elevation slips towards the horizon. This metamorphosis is noticeable because the change is far more pronounced than the corresponding spring light unfolding.

Back to school (or not)

And there is another significant change. Not only is it back to school, it is the beginning of the new academic year. New pupils are just starting, and everyone else has moved up a year. It is an anxious time for children and parents involved in new schools and colleges, new subjects, and new teachers.

And, of course, the start of the new school year will be poignant for parents whose children left school for the final time in July. For these, the realisation that their lives have changed will begin to hit home now. Even those of us who have been out of the academic arena for a while feel the impact. One day, the streets are full of families on holiday, and the next day, rather like the swallows and swifts, they have disappeared back into their classrooms.

A keystone review time

So, it is hardly surprising that this period of dramatic change is, in my book, the keystone of the year. I encourage clients to use September or October as their annual review months. There is more change and renewal at this time of year than at any other time.

And it is an excellent time to review personal finances. The impulsive spending of summer is over, and cash outflows become more stable for the next six months or so. Collecting and examining personal financial data also helps complete your tax return. It’s better to do it now than leave it until the last minute in January.

It is no coincidence that Judaism celebrates Rosh Hashanah – New Year – in mid-September, this powerful time of review and renewal. Rosh Hashanah means The Head of the Year. And whilst the word ‘head’ can mean the start of the year, it also has a deeper meaning here, unlike our human thinking heads. Judaism understands that the choices it makes at this time of change have a significant impact on the year to come.

Photo attribution

Photo by Tina Witherspoon on Unsplash

Audio link

https://audio.com/jeremy_deedes/autumn/

Related post

There cannot be change without loss

https://wordsnotdeeds.co.uk/there-cannot-be-change-without-loss/

We must overcome the anxiety accompanying the loss of old ways with compassion and sensitivity if change is to succeed.

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