Home African Caribbean Welcome To The Autumn Equinox In The Northern Hemisphere

Welcome To The Autumn Equinox In The Northern Hemisphere

by Tony Kelly

In Britain the autumn equinox  officially started on the 22nd September and will last until the 15th December when winter takes over.

Jamaican poet H.D. Carberry begins his  well-known poem “Nature” with: “We have neither summer nor winter/neither autumn nor spring’’ whilst my Mico Teachers’ College  batch mate of the 70s Valerie Bloom (nee Wright) a poet in her own right echoes this in her poem “Two Seasons”: “We no have no Autumn like Europe,/we don’ have de American Fall,” explaining “No, we don’t have four different seasons, /just two, de wet an’ de dry,…’’

Both of those references  are about Jamaica which like the rest of the Caribbean is in the midst of the hurricane season, ending on  30th November. I start with these two poems because  Mother Nature at its best  in autumn witnessing yearly the wonderful sight in Britain  of the diverse colours of the leaves on the trees as they start to change before falling to the ground  in preparation for  winter. Every hue, tint, tone and shade  can be seen and the kaleidoscopic  effect is spectacular.

It is truly a sight to behold as the  natural beauty and foliage of the leaves is breathtaking.  One would  often read about this in books and the imagery would be visually depicted in them in the most descriptive manner accompanied sometimes by photos  but seeing  such a spectacle up close and personal in real life is  astounding and amazing. The scenery in parks, woods, forest and other open spaces as the leaves on the trees change their colours before descending to the ground is beauty personified and one can only really appreciate it by seeing it unfold before ones’ eyes. Some photography  competitions often capture these  trees in their resplendency  as do some films and television nature programmes but nothing beats seeing them in their natural habitat.

This  continues once the leaves fall from the trees and cover the ground like a multi-coloured carpet as one gets a double viewing of this phenomenon in all its majestic glory.  I have always loved the season of spring which equates to new birth but autumn comes a close second. It brings back vivid memories of my early childhood in Jamaica when one of our  weekend chores was to use a  coconut broom stick to sweep up the leaves  and other debris from the expansive property/farmyard that my grand aunt Ina Watson and her husband Wilfred Watson  owned in Whitehall, St. Thomas.

In England I often see  residents using  specially built vacuum cleaners for sweeping up leaves but instead of swooping them in the attached bag they use the blower to blow the leaves from the driveway of their home or garden on  to the pavement  or the main road which is unacceptable and bad practice  as passersby then have to walk or drive on them.

It would be far better to use a garden rake instead and gather the leaves in to a heap plus this is a form of physical activity which I am all in favour of in terms of more movement for our physical health and well-being. England is noted for its rainy weather and it is not a pleasant sight when all those wet leaves are left to rot in the path of pedestrians or drivers whilst some irresponsible residents  show no civic pride  for their surroundings except  for their front lawn and driveway. People have been known to slip and fall on these rotting leaves.  A rather selfish attitude to adopt.  Surely, they should place the leaves in garden bags for disposal by the rubbish collectors or better yet use them as compost/manure in their front and back gardens. The well-known slogan ‘Keep Britain tidy’ springs to mind and we all have a duty and responsibility to play our part.

Take  a walk in the country side and enjoy the fresh air along with the beauty of what I have attempted to describe of the autumn equinox as it is  a temporary feature before the onset of the dark, grey, gloomy winter days that lie ahead. 

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

London born Tony Kelly of Jamaican parents grew up in Jamaica and returned to live in Birmingham in 1979.
He is a graduate of Mico Teachers’ College and taught in Kingston high schools prior to working for 30+ years as a middle manager in central and local government with an emphasis on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. He has a masters’ degree in socio-legal studies from the university of Birmingham.
For over a decade Tony has volunteered as a diabetes ambassador firstly for Diabetes UK and now for the National Health Service – Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. A multi-award winner doing a yearly average of 150 health and well-being events, locally, nationally and internationally focusing on type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with this medical condition 18 years ago. However with a combination of physical activity and diet he has never taken medication thus proving with the right mindset and discipline it can be achieved.
As a diabetes advocate/activist Tony will continue delivering the message of healthy options to readers of CaribDirect.com .


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