Written by Emma D'Arcy
New beginnings. A new chapter. A new era.
The cooler mornings, and extra layer required when strolling home after dining out in the evening. As golden summer sunsets make way for fresh autumnal dawns and crunchy colourful leaves underfoot, it’s a seasonal reminder that change is coming. It almost imperceptibly arrives, and with it a whole new season of promise. When I first planned to write this piece, I had no idea how poignant writing about new beginnings would be. This September marks a particularly poignant shift in life, both personally and collectively.
On a societal level, as a British and global citizen, I have only ever known life with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II providing leadership, wisdom and consistency, so it’s going to take time to adjust to national life without her. The constant, familiar figure in all of our lives. The reassuring presence of a monarch who reigned for over seventy years, her service woven into the very fabric of British life. My own experience was glimpsing her smile in a horse and carriage at the races at Royal Ascot, sailing down the river during the Thames Diamond Jubilee PageantCelebrations in 2012, and I always enjoyed listening to her reflecting on the year gone by during the annual Queen’s speech on Christmas Day. And whilst it’s the ending of the Elizabethan era, Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy remains. Her Majesty’s lifelong values and steadfast example guiding us all on how to walk through life with dignity, humour and grace. The war generation is one that we are so fortunate to have known during our lifetime, given the resilience, bravery and determination embodied by so many of our grandparents who we have lost recently. The impact they made can be found through their children, grandchildren – and as we saw at Her Majesty’s funeral – great-grandchildren. Hope can be found at the beginning of the reign of the new monarch, and the promise of generations to come. Whilst change is inevitable, the values that Queen Elizabeth embodied during her 70-year reign will continue to guide the new monarch, British citizens, and the wider world as we step into a new era.
On a personal level, I recently walked through the front door of my home for the first time as a homeowner. After months of paperwork, financial decisions, and liaising with the developer, I now finally have the keys! Enjoying the modern kitchen I chose, the luxurious marble bathroom (my favourite personal touch), as the new build dream has now become a reality is a real moment of achievement. How many times in life do we move from one goal to the next, without taking the time to appreciate our achievements? I sat on the wooden floor with no furniture, and just took a moment to enjoy the accomplishment! When I first put down my deposit, there was simply a plot of land and I had to envision what it could become one day. Witnessing that dream become a reality was a special moment. Interestingly, whilst I love choosing curtains, velvet sofas and beautiful wood-crafted beds, the highlight so far has been welcoming my brother, partner, and family through the front door, and enjoying a glass of wine in the garden for the first time. It’s these moments that truly turn a house into a home, as you make memories with loved ones.
As I gradually furnish the home, it’s the perfect time of year to spend time indoors – finally hanging paintings, adding throws and candles to make our home cozy for the winter months ahead. Digging out winter wardrobe favourites, alongside a few new pieces – this year I’m keen to find some deliciously toasty oversized sweaters to add to my collection.
As summer makes way for colourful autumn days, it’s worth taking the time to reflect on what that change means for you – what you’ve enjoyed, achieved and learned so far this year. Then looking forward to a new season – in my case I’m looking forward to tasty warmer recipes, long windswept clifftop walks and savouring bottles of wine by country pub fires – before offering a hopeful welcome embrace to the new beginnings that the next season and the new era brings.