Saturday, September 29, 2012

Autumn, the season of joy?

Copyright: CandraCahaya
'There is melancholy in the wind and sorrow in the grass' (Charles Kuralt)

I love autumn, in fact it is the season I love most though it means summer is over, the days are getting shorter, the weather gets colder everyday with more rainy or cloudy days. Not to mention the mushy, damp leaves on the streets sticking on my shoes, or even worse: the sudden increase in number of sick people who are having a coughing fit on the underground and the continuous warning from the media on the danger of 'Grippe', the German word for Influenza and its 'Infektionsgefahr' (risk of infection). I can also perceive that the atmosphere and people's moods are changing slowly: during Spring /Summer
season when the sun shines brightly I come across random smiling faces and colorful outfits from time to time, but from September and October onwards, when the days get rapidly colder, I will mostly see people wearing their grim expressions, and bundled up in their dark colored coats.

But why does the lack of sunshine affect our moods?
Copyright: CandraCahaya
Lebkuchen (Gingerbread):
Feast for the eyes
though it doesn't hurt to have them
once a while
According to, we need to sunbath, without sunblock mind you, a few times a week for about 15 minutes to get a good dose of vitamin D and serotonin. When we are exposed to the ultraviolet of sun rays, our brains increase the production of serotonin, a hormone related to feeling happiness, while our bodies produce vitamin D which helps maintain the level of serotonin.
The bottom line is that if we feel depressed, it doesn't hurt to go outside and let Mr Sunny cheer us up while we are taking a quick walk around the block AND enjoying the fresh air. And after some exercise, we can grab simple healthy snacks like apple chips, banana or granola bars only when we are really feeling hungry, or maybe a glass of green smoothy for a quick fix.

Copyright: CandraCahaya
So... despite all the drawbacks of the autumn season mentioned above, it is still my favorite time of the year: the unbearable heat is finally over, cooked and raw foods stay fresh longer, the annoying insects, (fruit) flies, mosquitos, wasps..hah, all of them are finally gone!
But the reason why I like autumn so much is  because it is a wonderful time when I can see  the nature celebrating life in its splendid color and beauty.
The dense canopy of golden leaves on the trees. The cool gentle breeze. The melancholic atmosphere. The fresh and crisp air. The relaxed feeling at vine yards inviting me to linger.

I like strolling through the quiet alley in Prater in the evening, inhaling the scents of the woods and appreciating the beauty of nature.
I can hear the fallen, still crisp, golden leaves beneath my feet crunching like a colorful trail of moving carpet while I am breathing in the fresh and clean air along the lonely trail of the woods. When the sun withdraws and hides its face among the clouds, and hikers leave to seek solace in their warmer homes, the woods become very silent and even no leaves seem to stir. A truly magical and serene atmosphere which will fill my heart with longing for a long lost moment, feelings of sudden melancholy, and fond memories of days gone by.
Copyright: CandraCahayaWhen the feelings of melancholy are too much to bear, it is good to go home, enjoying a cosy evening eating Lebkuchen (gingerbread) accompanied with a cup of hot tea and a good read.
Of course autumn without freshly roasted Chestnuts, baked Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) with garlic, and game with red cabbage, Semmelknödel, Cranberry or pumpkin soup will not be the same if you live in Austria. They are not only nourishing, but also a part of
Austrian tradition.
Copyright: CandraCahayaGoing to festivals is also another good way to snap me out of a bad mood. In Vienna there are always a lot of things going on, even in the Autumn: from Fire Brigade-, Tramway Festival, Autumn Flea markets, the day of Sport, Wiener Wiesn (Viennese October Festival), the Buskers Festival in Karlplatz, to the pumpkin festival. However if you don't like public events / festivals and prefer to have some drinks with friends, you can go to one of many old fashioned, gemütliche (cosy) Kaffeehäuser in Vienna, enjoying a generous slice of warm apfelstrudel or delicious Biedermeiertorte with amaretto Schlagobers,  with a frothy cappuccino which is usually served in a white delicate porcelain cup. If you are a connoisseur of fine wines, you should visit a Heurige (wine tavern) and sample a glass or two of good local wines. More than 180 Heurigen are officially registered in this city, and many of them are located close to Vienna woods. According to, 'Vienna has 700 hectares of wine yards and is the only metropolis in the world which grows enough wine within city limit to be worth mentioning' Nah, isn't the city I (or you?) live in impressive?

Wiener Wiesn 27 Sept -7 Oct 2012
But even if you live somewhere else, I am sure you can always get the best out of the autumn months, for example by taking a walk in the park, going hiking, flying a kite, browsing shops away, meeting friends or joining a gym. (You know the benefits of regular physical exercises, don't you? Not only it boosts your energy, but it also improves your mood. The brain releases endorphins which make you feel happy). Yes, there are so many ways to make this season enjoyable before the winter comes!

Last but not least: you can share your stories with us why you like/dislike autumn and what you do to always stay positive, no matter what season it is! 


 Happy Autumn, everyone!


Barbara said...

Brilliant! Read the first two paragraphs of this one, thought it was fantastic! Loved the pictures too!!! This morning I thought again that I like this season so much because I was born in autumn, am in love therefore with every October because on a clear day you can see forever,the trees change colour, there is a vivid spectrum of reds, oranges, yellows and golden browns browns which appeal to my senses, it is also the season for thanksgiving for the bounty of nature and the free gifts that we receive from God above.

Mehran said...

I found your article very useful and specially touching.
It is a privilege one be able to talk about her feelings(or write about them)

Mita said...

True, I can't agree more with u. Now I know why Indonesians are very friendly, especially those living in Bali. Haha sunny days the whole years.

Nevertheless, changes are also nice.

Cahaya said...

@Barbara & Mehran & Mita: thank you. If you click on the pictures, you can have the larger version of the image.

Kyle said...

Thank you so much! The article was really well written and got me excited about Fall. And with your great suggestions of things to do, I think I will have no problem staying positive!

Marion said...

Hallo Candra, das ist wirklich ein schöner Blog! Gefällt mir sehr gut wie und was du schreibst!!
und wie du schon geschrieben hast - ja es wäre nett, in dieser Zeit wo die Tage nebeliger und dünkler werden mit den Freunden in Kaffehäusern zu sitzen und üppige Speisen zu sich zu nehmen. Rotkraut mit Knödel. Mhhhhhh :-D:-)