I used to notice how on a certain day a year I would wake up and suddenly feel that Spring was alive or that Autumn was in the air. This would be an overnight thing; I would go to bed in the Summer and find myself the next day musing about Christmas, Bonfire Night and Halloween. It has only been in the last few years that I have realised what causes this internal shift and it is not internal at all, it is in fact an actual physical change in the quality of light.
I live in Central England and for us the light changed yesterday. I found myself in my kitchen making breakfast and I looked across my garden and knew the light had changed. The sun had somehow lost its golden, warm tones and had become slightly cooler, muted and a little blue. Shadows have a different depth to them and the slant and angle of the light that flooded the room was of a different aspect and quality to the summer light. You can see it in the colour of the light – it moves from gold to blue literally over night. I can only imagine it must be due to some change in angle/aspect of the earth to the sun.
It is this change in the quality of light that makes you naturally begin to think about the impending change of season, when you find yourself mid summer holiday, thinking bonfire night, jumpers and soft furnishings. The same shift happens the other way around at the end of February – one morning you wake up and the light has a quality of gold again that speaks spring and summer right into your soul.
I believe that the Pagan Sabbats of Imbolc (the start of spring) and Lammas (the first harvest) also evolved around this changing of the light. The light shifts around these times and for me when I first noticed the correlation I was amazed it was so early in the year. Traditionally Spring to me was April/May and Autumn was September/October – but this is just not so – step out today and look at the colour of the shadows, smell the air, and I guarantee you will feel the autumn in your bones.