I am in Italy this week and it has been so amazing. At first I was frustrated and stressed at the thought of going away. Having previously lived in Italy we have a house in the Piemontese countryside and this is where we escape to during most school holidays. It allows me to keep working while the boys run wild and feral in the woods, not to mention the delicious food that transforms our mealtimes into a gastronomical feast. But this year I have been so busy I was almost resentful at having to up sticks from our home in England and come all the way out here to a house in the middle of nowhere.

Permission to stop

But then I arrived and everything changed. Oh wow! I thought with a smile. As the grey foggy morning gave way to a cobalt blue sky, and rays of October sun danced over fields of colourful vineyards, it all came back to me: “It’s Autumn!” I exclaimed with glee.

I realise now that when I wrote out my plans for October at the beginning of the month I forgot something important. I forgot to give myself permission to stop for long enough to enjoy the change from Summer to Autumn. It has occurred to me that unless I schedule this time out to just be and enjoy, I am in danger of missing it.

Autumn revealed

Perhaps it was fate when, while trawling through my Evernote notebook this morning (the app I use to store everything I want to remember) looking for inspiration for this week’s blog, I came across a poem I’d saved called By Autumn, by William Blake. It turns Blake out is as much a fan of Autumn as I am. Now I am no poetry expert, but I love how the rhythm and words of this poem  evoke the spirit and excitement of my favourite time of year. The first verse made my heart dance:

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d

With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit

Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,

And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,

And all the daughters of the year shall dance!

Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

It is so evocative that even from the confines of my office I can almost smell the dampness of the grass and hear the crisp and crunch of fallen leaves underfoot. If you haven’t done so already, give yourself permission to stop long enough to enjoy the sounds, smells and colours of this magical moment in time.