I’m a day late, to welcome in one of my favourite months of the year. But, “Hello, November!” I’m looking forward to all that you bring, including: pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving dinner, frosty mornings, leaves turning a rainbow of colours before drifting to the earth where they become crunchy underfoot.
Candles lit early as darkness closes in. Twinkle lights glowing and music playing while we dance in the kitchen. I’m ready for lots of soup with grilled cheese sandwiches and bowls of homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner and roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. I’m looking forward to long walks in the woods bundled up against the chill to see the trees lose their leafy clothing and become stark naked for winter. There is a magic to this month as we slip from autumn into winter and it holds a beauty all of its own.
After a lovely week off, enjoying each other’s company; lots of coffee, cake, music and candlelight; a day trip to Oxford and a stroll around one of our favourite places there, the botanic gardens; snuggling on the couch and watching lots of Halloween related movies, eating lots of Halloween candy while watching those movies, our week has flown by in a blink of an eye and we have arrived back at another Monday.
Monday, I don’t think I’m ready for you yet, I was having too much fun.
I like it, there is something so sing-song about it. When I hear it, I can see leaves changing colour, hayrides, pumpkins piled high, fresh apple cider, hot donuts and crispy skinned sausages. Barn dances under the full harvest moon and twinkle lights glowing. I can see Indian corn almost completely shucked and gathered by their dried husks, tied up with a ribbon and hanging on doors. I can smell the aroma of spice in the air, mingled with the scent of wood logs burning in open fires. When I hear this song, I can see autumn.
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.