Nowadays, however, all this is tinged with disappointment and sometimes pure rage that it is also the time of year that my energy levels plummet, and I reap the harvest of using too much energy earlier in the year. It is the time of year that having ME (CFS) tends to have its biggest impact, because I struggle to avoid the disappointment that springs from looking back and realising all the things I didn’t get to do during the year because I wasn’t well enough, all the things I can’t do now because I don’t have the energy.
I love the Autumn colours, the softer light, the smell of woodsmoke as fires are lit. As a gardener, I love the mingling of fading glory and future promise as perennials die back and Spring bulbs are planted, seed sown. I love the process of review – what worked, what didn’t – and dreaming – which tomatoes for next year, how to re-plant that border.
This week it has all been highlighted by an upcoming mad family celebration for my brother-in-law and his wife, both turning 40. We are hosting. So I have been baking bread (10 adults get through a lot of toast for breakfast) cake decorating (I’m rubbish at it but really enjoy it) and balloon buying (all for the nephews, obviously…). All the while trying to balance this with the need to ready the garden for winter. Which is why I was bubble -wrapping the greenhouse on Monday in 17C (63F) because I won’t have energy for it after the weekend’s celebrations.
Happily I do have a greenhouse to potter in now, so I will seek to make my peace with the conflicting feelings and calls on my time and energy by taking cuttings in the strange other-world cocoon created by the diffused light. And look forward to 10 adults speaking in squeaky voices due to helium inhalation, eating too much cake and bread and flying a new power kite at Westonbirt. Oh, and probably drinking too much too! Life is good, and despite the health issues, I am a little like Patient Gardener in that overall, Autumn is energising. When I started writing this post I felt miserable and fed up. I took a break and went out into my garden to take (most of) the photos I am using. Spending time smelling the air, looking at the plants, enjoying the sun, enjoying the Autumn colours, was like healing balm. Roll on the weekend! The cakes may be less than professional, but they were decorated with love. And we have balloons… And booze…