The days are dwindling down now, in the autumn of the year and most likely the autumn of a life. Which is all as it should be. I love the changes the seasons bring as I also love the changes time brings. The leaves on the trees letting go as naturally as age lets go of the ambitions and the impatient rages of earlier years.
A few years ago on here I wrote about what I called ‘the quietening down of the rage to succeed’ and I was remembering all that as I walked around in the autumn today. Realising that though I thought I’d slowed down back then I was only just starting on a journey that now feels as well underway as the autumn in England did this afternoon.
I’ve always loved walking on autumn afternoons as they’ve always made me feel thoughtful. Not in a sad way but certainly in sympathy with the falling of the leaves and the dying back of the late summer overgrowth, autumn afternoons have always made me think about where and what I’m up to in my life. And this afternoon as I walked I thought about letting go.
Letting go of the work I thought I was setting aside temporarily a year ago so I could get started on my new university life. Work I now know I will not be picking up again. This being as much because I don’t want to do the kind of work I did before as much as it’s because of the university work.
And letting go of all crowded rooms and noisy events, social or otherwise. Their time is over and from now on all party invitations or suggestions that ‘it would be good if you could be there’ will be answered with a quiet no.
These are quieter times coming now, quieter than I thought quiet already was for me. Not at all in an unhappy way by the way, or even an unsocial one. Friendly conversations with friends will be as gratefully treasured as ever. But I won’t join in with any more than two or three of us gathered together at any one time any more.
And though I’ll be letting go of the kinds of work I’ve been doing for a long time now it’s not because I haven’t loved doing the work but because time has happened and now it’s time to move on.
To move on to the work I got properly going over the summer while I was in Port Sunlight. The thinking and walking and writing I enjoyed so much will be my main work now. This being the main thing I thought about as I walked around in the autumn of today. That walking, writing and thinking will be what I do and what I’m looking forward to.
Walking, writing and thinking that will continue to be written about on here. As will the activities and concerns of the places and people I’ve often written about over the years if they want me to. I haven’t stopped loving you. But all boards and working groups are left now and I’ll be joining no more.
That’s what I’ve been thinking about today. Walking in Calderstones, Liverpool, in the autumn of the year.
With grateful thanks to The Reader Organisation for the quiet time sitting in your reading rooms at Calderstones this afternoon. Hope you don’t mind.