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Archdeacon Michael: Celebrating Easter in autumn

The Ven Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster
The Ven Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster
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It was a kindly meant present. A few years ago, a friend gave me a “colour consultation.”

This involved the consultant meeting me, seeing my skin, hair, eye colouring.

They also chatted with me to ascertain my personality and interests and then wrote a report about how I should style my wardrobe.

The conclusion was quite simple. I am an “autumn person” who needs to wear warm colours: russets, deep green, mustard yellows and the like. The colours I need to avoid at all costs are “cold colours” steel blue, light grey and especially white and black. As I said a kindly meant present, but one that means most of the time I am very aware that I am in the wrong colour clothes!

I love autumn, the colours the textures, the crunching of leaves. I was like an eight-year-old boy the other day picking up the gloriously spiky outer casing of conkers, revelling in the soft creamy flesh and the amazing chestnut brown of the conker itself. All combined with the wonderful smell.

Autumn for me is a sensory delight of colours, smells, sounds, and textures. As the primary school autumn song goes with “Cauliflowers fluffy and cabbages green” even taste gets a look in at autumntime.

It fascinates me that the time of decay and of nature beginning to close down for winter is such a time of beauty. The colour consultant proved that is because it is what I feel most at home in. That combined with delighting in all it offers, for me nothing beats walking down an autumnal lane.

When I was living in South Africa, autumn was the time of Easter. Thus the natural imagery was not of new life and fluffy bunnies but of dying back and foreshadowing of cold and dark days ahead. It meant the preacher had to look for signs of resurrection and hope even if the externals were otherwise. For me this all was quite natural.

The colours of the leaves are the final celebration of the life that has been, it is preparing to be changed to enable new life to occur as the leaves decompose and become fresh life enhancing compost. The berries, nuts and seeds not only feed and can be stored to keep us sustained through the winter months, they can also be sown to yield crops for the following spring time.

Autumn is a time for life, for long term provision and for celebration.