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Autumn Queen

There are many phases in a woman's life; spring maiden, summer mother, winter crone, but what about autumn

Autumn is here and this year my son hasn’t written a poem about school sucking the school out of him and I haven’t written a poem about time being strangled as I have done before:

New Term

Time strangled,

Lies withering on the floors

Covered with the ocre leaves of August’s mourning,

Cramped, dark, confined,

Time is packed tight under the mulch and rot of school books and bells,

Dormant until the summer breaks the dark-nights’ spell.


Instead, I swam in the autumn sun in the very icy river for possibly the last time this year and felt grateful to feel my skin sting.  I gathered plumbs, apples, damsons and blackberries and felt grateful for the abundance of free food within walking distance of where I live.  I baked pies and inhaled the aroma of pastry turning gold and apples mingling with cinnamon and felt grateful to have this house and the time to cook.  I walked the dogs and felt grateful to be mobile, healthy and well.  I watched and awful film with the kids and felt grateful to share squirmy grimaces and eye-rolling with them.

I love the summer and the bright, long days and window-open-quilt-off nights.  I love to see the swallows swoop and scissor the sky feeling the sun warm my skin.  I love how each day I get two days in one.

But this autumn I am ready to pull my energies within, to bake pies, read books, snuggle early under and blanket covered quilt.

Maybe it’s because I’m older, I am autumn in my years, no longer spring maiden or summer mother and not yet winter crone, but autumn queen.

My children growing older widens my gaze:

I look beyond the own back yard to the world and its ways.

I have my own resources and am happy with time on my own,

I no longer need the affirmation of others to listen to what I feel and know.

I am clearer on my values, on what I want and need,

Whilst I’m able to look after others, I also want to please me.

My fronds are not as firm green as they used to be,

But there is a quietness and compassion in the richly toned and creasing leaves.

I stand balanced between winter, can sense its branches stark and bare,

But my roots are still in summer with children in my care.

I am happy to be autumn, to wear its earthy shades,

To walk barefoot on damp earth and scatter misty dew from grassy blades.

I am happy to swim in the evening river when the water is bronzed and deep,

To feel my skin tang, my limbs move among the flashes of pewter as they leap.

I am grateful to be autumn, to have been summer and spring,

And I hope that when my crone-time winter comes, I am ready to welcome her in.

  • What season of life are you in?
  • How can you connect to the qualities of that season in nature? 
  • What strengths and beauties to do you see there?
  • You might want to draw the season, or find images of it, or listen to music of it to inspire you

 I’d love to hear from you about your seasons. You can get in touch here

Julie Leoni

Julie Leoni

Coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, Yoga and psychology teacher, learner

I have over 30 years of experience and qualification in various therapeutic and meditation/mindfulness based approaches. I work with change. Some changes we chose, others happen to us.  Sometimes we know we want to change but don't know how. Sometimes we don't want to change but external events or people are forcing us to change. The menopause, children leaving home, the end of a relationship or job, becoming a parent, coming out, bereavement are just some of the personal changes I support people with. I also work with people who want to make changes to their life and wider world in response to social issues such as Covid, the climate crisis and racial, sexual and gender inequalities. Times are changing whether we want them to or not and we need to be nimble, agile, curious and open in order to part of the new story emerging. Work with me to get clear on what matters to you, what makes your heart sing and what kind of future you want for yourself and those you love. It is possible to live differently, get in touch to explore how.

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