This year autumn seemed to come so much earlier than usual. Despite the wettest August I can recall, my garden looks both massively overgrown and quite finished. I felt it come about the second week of August, and it made me quite melancholy, There is so much I could do, should do, and no doubt, will wish that I had done. It feels slightly more final than usual.
As a bona fide Winter baby, I love the crisp cool fall mornings, the change of the colour of the sky, the change in the taste of the day. Perhaps instead of the riot of fall colour, it’s the smell of the dying leaves that I notice. The swallows have long since departed. The darkness that greets me at 5:30 am isn’t welcome, the evenings are drawing in much to soon.
Harvey, my cat looks like he is wearing a winter blanket already. And the mornings are more nippy than dainty little Daisy likes, although she is nearly as fuzzy as her brother. I have worn socks already, and a proper winter coat. too.
And yet,…..and yet I am glad in some small dark corner of my heart, that the smell of wood smoke will soon fill the evening air, that beautiful crisp cloudy cider will be set aside to go hard. That the crocuses will pop up, and the honey will be brought in.
I have sage and herb bundles drying, and the fruits of the allotment in the freezer. Huge dark purple clematis hang in trellis nets, and the last roses fierce & thorny guard their territories. The ivy is fresh and bright green, the wisteria still growing wildly, for I don’t care to tame her over-much.
At home, the salmon will be running, and the first elk season is just finished,
The hay is safely in, and the pumpkins are growing ever more golden.The overhead phone lines used to sag under the tremendous weight of thousands of goldfinches, waiting for the urge to go. While the Indian summer slips in like an imposter, in place of the real one, before the storms of winter come.
The woodpile, neatly split and stacked, at my brother’s house will be steadily growing. The water pump will already have it’s winter fleece jacket on. The summer screens are locked away, the window shutters up. I know the emergency generator will be primed and ready, candles on the side.
The windfall apples lay in the orchard, nearly forgotten now. I wonder if anyone will gather and press them for cider, or if the deer will get them all. I wonder if anyone will rush out to see the salmon make the last dash home to spawn, or lay out in the grass to watch the meter showers that herald the turning year. I wonder if the valley misses me, the way I miss it.
And in the end it always comes much to soon, the browning field mushrooms, the dying grapes of wrath, the sun becoming softer until it can sit on you all day and not leave a single mark. The geese are noisy in chevron flight. The fragile cobweb strung with dewy jewels. And the mists of night, wrap us all in mystery and an etherealness that defies gravity.