On Saturday, we celebrated the Autumnal Equinox by Mr. Michie taking me to a glorious horse chestnut tree he had found and we spent a good 20 minutes collecting handfuls of fallen conkers. We brought them home, scrubbed them clean, dried them and now they’re sitting in a bowl, nestled around a candle, with their shiny chestnut brown coats gleaming.
Since Saturday, it feels as if Mother Nature has kissed Summer on the cheeks and bid her adieu. It has been decidedly chilly and rainy. This morning we woke to clear skies and it had warmed up to a balmy 38°F when we left for school.
I’m not complaining; I love the crisp air, the crunch of leaves and acorns underfoot, the air that smells at once fresh and of an earthy dampness of leaves slowly decaying on the woodland floor. There is a magic to this time when one season slips into the next.
Hello, September! I don’t know how you got here so quickly? I wasn’t ready for you. I’m still not ready for you. I’m not quite prepared for the call of back to school, to the change of pace that brings. No more afternoons spent reading books in the woods or strolls that end with cake and coffee or living in the moment of summer, music playing late into the night and burning candles slowly becoming the only light as evening quietly closes in. The march of back to school is its own drum, I was having too much summer fun and I’m not quite ready for it to start beating again, but we will find our rhythm to this beat again, as we do in all seasons.
December is almost here. I’m elated to decorate our little cottage for the holidays, but at the same time, I feel that it is all happening so fast. I just want to slow down and enjoy the season we are coming in to. A large majority of stores have had their Christmas decorations out since the first of November. And although this is one of my favourite times of year, I want to savour it and not have it go by in a swirling rainbow blur.
I worked on taking all of our fall decorations down yesterday in preparation for Christmas decorating. I always bring our leftover pumpkins and gourds to the woods. This morning I headed into the woods on my run, which was really more of a swift walk at that point, because my pockets and hands were laden down with mini pumpkins.
I slowly moved off the path, after picking a good spot and nestled a few of them on a moss covered tree stump. I’ll keep my eye on them as I cut through the woods in the morning on my next couple of runs to see who has been feasting on them. Usually they are gobbled up by the muntjacs, squirrels and birds.
After leaving my little offering to the woods, I made my way back on to the main path, but not before a muntjac crossed in front of me a little ways further up. Maybe she was watching me? I hope she headed that way after I cleared out, she would have had quite a feast this morning if she did.
It was overcast when I headed out for my run this morning. The clouds were low and the way they wove into one another made me think of snow clouds. As I made my way onto the woodland trails, I started to see glimmers here and there of the sun trying to peek out.
When I came out onto the main path, the sun suddenly burst through the clouds. The wind picked up and forced the tree branches to sway and so many leaves that had been holding on with all their might, started to fall. Some came down quickly, some spun around and around in a dizzying circle and some slowly drifted. It was like leaf snow the way they all floated down and came to rest on the ground around me and it made me smile.
This is one of my favourite trees. I pass it almost every morning on my run. I love watching it change with each season. Against a backdrop of an almost white sky this morning, it looked hauntingly beautiful. I want to climb up on that brick wall and place a row of pumpkins along it. I think the tree would like that.
Goodbye, Summer! Hello, Fall! Today is the Autumn Equinox and it truly felt like fall on my morning run. It was 46°F when I left the house; the sun was streaming through the leaves, the ground was still wet from yesterday’s rain and there was a mist rising off the fields.
The earth was littered with almost neon yellow leaves and the apples are now full and lush on the branches. The grasses around the pond are beginning to turn varying shades of a chocolatey velvet brown. All of the webs that were spun last night, were glistening with morning dew. It was glorious!
Next week the weather is supposed to turn warmer again and I just want it to stay cool and crisp. I’m ready to live in a hut in the middle of a field of pumpkins. I’m ready for all things fall, I mean it is almost October!
This weekend we have errands to run and we need to finish off planning our weekly menu. But, I’m hoping for some downtime in there, where we stroll through the woods, breath autumn in, in all of her golden glory and where we drink coffee and listen to music while laying in a heap on the couch.
There always seems to be a particular vibe to summer. This summer I was definitely in a 70s mood and among other things, we listened to Bob James’, Touchdown album a lot! We had this record playing almost non-stop. I don’t care that it sounds cheesy, cheesy is good! Who doesn’t love a good saxophone?
So here’s to the beginning of Autumn. And, here’s to a wonderful weekend!
I don’t know why and I know that it just isn’t me, because everyone I’ve spoken with today has said they feel as if this has been the longest week ever!
The woods were so quiet this morning. I only passed one other person out with her two Jack Russells. The sunbeams were distilled through the leaves, moving in and out as the breeze shook the branches; little tracks of light making the path glow. I could see my breath. It was a perfect autumnal morning.
I love the way the light changes this time of year. The shadows become longer. The light becomes whiter. My Nana’s dining room was at the corner of the house, so light filtered in from the front and the sides. Near one of the windows in the corner she had a Christmas cactus that sat on a tall wooden plant stand.
The afternoon autumnal light would be so pure the cactus almost appeared as it was glowing. The light would move across the dining room table and come to rest on the opposite wall. I would sit at the kitchen table watching the light dance about. It always made me think of Cranberries, by Andrew Wyeth.
We hardly ever turn on the TV, but last night the Mercury Prize Awards were on and Mr. Michie wanted to see some of the acts perform. Sampha, won the prize and we were both very happy with the judges decision. He played, “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano”.
I have no idea why, because there was not a piano in the dining room, or even in my Nana’s house for that matter. But, this song makes me think of her home. I suppose it speaks to me because her house knew me well. I used to clean for her and my other Grandmother for pocket money. I was usually saving up to buy Christmas presents. Her walls heard my voice, her furniture knew the touch of my hand. Her stove was incredibly fun to cook on, this perfect 1960s avocado green beauty. I think this song makes me feel nostalgic. The changing of seasons makes me feel that way as well, excited for what is to come and sad to let the previous season slip away.
We’re in that strange part of every season, where one season is slowly slipping in to the next. Our days are starting to feel more autumnal. The mornings are cooler, followed by rainy afternoons and the leaves are beginning to metamorphose into brilliant shades of crimson red, gold and tangerine orange. The shadows are transforming too and the quality of the light is altering. It’s getting darker sooner. Gone are our summer nights of light till almost 10pm. I’m okay with that, I welcome new seasons with open arms. But, right now I feel stuck in the space in-between.
I see my woods change every day as I walk through them. I use them as my seasonal barometer. There are bales of hay in all the fields, slowly drying out. The air smells different. As refreshing as I find it, moving from one space into the next, this space in-between is making me antsy lately. After a few cool days here and there, I’m ready for sweater weather, for hot chocolate nights and pumpkins everywhere. I’m not ready to have two days of being bundled up and then back to shorts and t-shirts and then back to being bundled up again.
Maybe it’s where I am personally right now. I’m ready for some major changes and we are working hard to make those goals happen. I’ve also teamed up with a marvellous woman on a project we are embarking on and we are slowly and surely finding our feet and picking the right route for us. I’m ready for the ball to roll a little faster. But life is going at the speed it is supposed to be for me right now and I have to accept that.
Autumn will come entirely into her glory when she is ready. I will simply have to take a page out of Mother Nature’s book and be patient. To just enjoy where I am right now, to enjoy this Indian Summer we are in. To look at this time as a renewal and a refresh before we fully move in to leaves crunching under foot, crispy apple scented air and the smell of wood fires permeating the world.