As I walked to work this morning, I saw the birds begin their flight to the south for the winter. Have you ever seen it? It’s called a murmuration.
The sky suddenly reverberated with the beating wings of birds as they flocked together, swung this way and that as they put on a display. I watched, mesmerised. I nearly missed my train! I saw one bird flutter furiously towards the murmuration and I like to think that she joined her friends on their way to warmer climates. The birds reminded me of us, you, me, the people we know and love.
Every autumn, I think of magic. I wait and wait for the turn of the seasons and once it arrives, it’s swift and inevitable. Autumn, however, has its own magic. The colours of the leaves, that sense of festivity in the air, the heisse Maroni stalls that crop up here, there and everywhere. Snow has already started falling on the mountains of Switzerland.
Places like Ebenalp – popular for their hiking trails – have already seen snow this season.
The harvest season is known for its festivals all over the world. Harvest festivals celebrate the agricultural year and the hard work that goes into growing our food.
In many parts of the world – including India – this has been parlayed into festivals that celebrate a mother goddess figure. In the coming weeks, you might celebrate Navratri, Golu, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos and Diwali, amongst others. Make sure you take a moment to notice how the lights suddenly sparkle up all around the world just as the days in the Northern Hemisphere become shorter and grow darker. In the Southern Hemisphere, of course, it is now spring and soon it will be summer!
Make sure that you also take note of how similar some of the festivals are in nature. Halloween reminds me, for example, both of Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead – a magnificent Mexican festival honouring the departed) but also of Bhoot Chaturdoshi. The latter is also a day on which the souls of departed ancestors are honoured.
We all have our own ways of celebrating autumn. In many parts of Switzerland, the schools are closed for the autumn break. Maybe, one day, you could take a walk in the woods? You will have already noticed the autumnal changes in and around your home and your school but perhaps it is time to continue the search for changes in a different environment, a natural one? You can use all of your senses to explore the woods in autumn. Think about:
- What you can see…
- What you can smell…
- What you can hear…
- What you can taste…
- What you can feel…
Turn your mind off and tune into the song of nature. Listen out for dry, crunchy leaves and birdsong. Can you smell rain in the air? Can you taste nuts and berries? Feel rough bark beneath your fingers? Maybe you can smell a bonfire?
Take a moment to write a sensory poem when you return and send it to us at Namaste Switzerland so that we can publish it in the November edition! We can’t wait to read your sensory poems!
This month’s issue is as jam-packed as ever! Avik Shrivastav has written about his trip to the Temprodrom in Winterthur. Samanvay Ray has written about his trip to Italy and France while Ishaan Parameshwar has reviewed a book for us. Kabir Jena has made a video about his trip to Technorama while Hasini Natarajan has made a DIY instructional video of a parachute craft. In our gallery section, we have entries from Ashvi Shrivastav, Adrita Sanyal, Adhira Ghosh, Srihan Kundu, Adam Yadav, Trisha Patil and Yashika Chaudhury.
I will leave you with one of my favourite quotations about autumn, written by one of my favourite authors, Emily Brontë:
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
Wishing you blissful autumn!
Disclaimer: Namaste Switzerland does not undertake any financial, reputational, legal, misrepresentational or other obligation or liability which may arise from the content of this article.