Time and tide wait for no (hu)man indeed.
We are now at the autumnal equinox and the daylight is shrinking on a daily basis. Every morning two minutes are shaved from the daylight as the sun rises later, and a further two or three minutes from the end of the day. I am no mathematician but can easily see that this steals over half an hour of daylight in a week. In contrast to the spring equinox when the sun rushes to stretch the day, we feel the retreat of summer as we need to switch on lights progressively earlier. More layers are needed and the scent in the air brings a chill with the certainty of autumn and winter not far beyond. The light is softer, and lower in the sky, and the flowers start to retreat and withdraw.
The wider world and my personal world have changed so much, and yet so little. Two and a half years have passed since I closed my door as Covid threatened to intrude. And while its threat has been reduced considerably, it still lingers. It even stepped over my own doorstep in the summer despite living a sheltered and cautious existence.
Guided as ever by my carefully selected three word mantra, I have made some big decisions. With the intention to unfurl, I have completely adjusted that work life balance by stepping aside from the regularity of work and seeking to forage more to provide for my essentials. The past years have shown that we can manage differently, and with health continuing to constrain I need to make the most of, nay savour, these Voldemort years. I am moulding days and weeks to allow for a balance which favours reading, writing, and spending time outdoors when the Scottish weather permits. And reflecting. I have a rich bank of memory and experience to enjoy. Can you live vicariously through the experiences of your younger self, I wonder.
The onset of autumn months and years is characterised by this milestone that is the equinox. And this falls on the first of my cancer landmark days. The day I discovered the lump back in 2009. So it feels as if there is a synchronicity in this shift in the seasons, the shortening of the days and the ever bittersweet anniversary of my introduction to a life refashioned by cancer.
By unfurling, slowing down and refocusing I am striving to take control of my own little world in this universe of unpredictability and turbulence. And while the sun rises later and sets earlier on its march towards the winter solstice, it continues to backlight the plants and trees as they continue in their seasonal cycle. It is up to me to remember to open my eyes and see those everyday wonders which thrive around me.