Breathe Issue 15

It’s complicated, autumn. Always colourful, always changing, always caressing. Often challenging.

The glorious yellows, reds and purples of the falling leaves that elicit gasps of delight from so many also signpost the shorter days to come. Days that for those living with Seasonal Affective Disorder will be marked by unwelcome mood swings, disrupted eating patterns and a desire to hibernate until spring promises the return of sunlight.

There’s evidence to suggest light therapy can alleviate the condition, but mindfulness, self-compassion and not being fearful of asking for support will also help to make life a little easier when Nature is delivering her annual display of colour and impermanence.

Compassion for others can also return light and hope to older people who have lost many friends or to those who have mental or physical problems that limit their mobility. Such kindness can come in all shapes and guises. Think pedal power, ‘trishaw’ and volunteer, for instance, and you get Cycling Without Age, a group that benefits older and younger alike with outdoor bike rides throughout the year.

As the trishaw wheels turn (how quickly varies) new friends are made and memories of old ones shared. All become part of the here and now, clearly visible and passed on with love, laughter and light whatever the season.