Friday, 23 September 2016

Autumn ramble…

So here comes another autumn. You have to love it don’t you? The crisp leaves underfoot and the bonfires, the chill in the air and the fogs, that long slow roll into winter, and of course another Christmas to get all excited about and then almost immediately forget.

It was the equinox yesterday and with it the start of astronomical autumn. Not real autumn of course, but I’ve been feeling that wonderful chill in the early morning air for a few days now and as you can see the leaves in my yard are turning, so let’s agree that it’s here.

As Justin Hayward once sang ‘I really love this time of year’, even though the chances of anything coming from Mars are down from a million to one to a bookie’s odds of around 20/1. Of course I don’t think it’ll be Tripods, but they’ll be something, a bacteria or two or maybe a mould or a lichen, and who’s to say that they will be no less deadly than Tripods armed with deadly death rays? Science daily reveals so much to us and shatters our dreams and cosy suppositions along the way. Good thing or bad thing? Who knows?

But it’s autumn, so let’s leave alien invasion alone and think about mellow fruitfulness. For me one of the best things about this time of year is that it becomes ‘legal’ once more to eat all the good stuff. By this I mean soups, casseroles, stews, dumplings, roast dinners with gravy, and those wonderful hot sticky puddings. All the things that the summer denies me as it’s not allowed to eat stewed root vegetables in the sunshine apparently.

Pumpkins and scarecrows, Harvest Festival songs, burning wicker men, beer and more beer, brightly crackling open fires, and of course bonfire night. Remember, remember the fifth of November and this year I am going to let off those fireworks I’ve been holding in the cupboard for two years waiting for a dry night and a little enthusiasm. It’s a ritual I need to perform, so let's conjure up all those other autumns. The long walks to school with the mist at my feet, the geese honking high overhead, the dew on the cobwebs of hedgerow spiders, the red sunsets over the church with the bells ringing out for Wednesday practice, and the deeply darkening nights, shorter and shorter until daylight seems to be rationed like licorice flavoured sweets in a jar.

Every day above ground is a good day, even the dark ones. I’ll remember that as I fall easily into autumn then on into the winter gathering conkers and nuts as I go, trying to not be tricked by the trick or treaters and gathering my memories to keep me warm until the spring. Autumn is the end of something with the promise of a new beginning once the trials and tribulations of the winter months have passed.

Autumn – it’s a good and easy thing. Enjoy.

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