Autumn has always been my favourite season of the year. I am not big on being very cold in winter and don't like driving in snow. In the summer it can get too hot and sticky for me. Spring is great, but I feel driven to get on and "do". Whereas autumn seems like a time for winding down, the temperature is good and it is a settling in and yet a new beginning too.
I guess that the new beginning part comes from it being the start of a new school year in England which is where I always went to school. New pens and pencils, uniform, new potential. A new beginning. It seems counterintuitive in some ways, but many of us feel the new start of September.
There is the debate about the start of autumn though. Is it the first of September, or do we wait until the autumnal equinox which this year is the twenty third of September.
This year we hardly seem to have had a summer with all of the rain in August, so I have been holding off September and autumn in my mind for now, but I see the signs starting to creep in all around us, little things gradually here and there. The ripening of berries, changing colours of the leaves and the cooler morning temperatures.
We haven't yet put the heating on, but it will come. I try and stave it off for as long as possible. The blankets will come out too and be wrapped around us in the evenings as we sit and watch television, or in my case do some crafting. Which isn't always easy in a blanket!
So although I am not ready yet for autumn, I know it is coming so I will start to prepare!
To get me in the mood I read this beautiful poem by John Keats called To Autumn. I love the words and it sums up so many of the wonders of autumn for me.
by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never case,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou has thy music too,
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the rover sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The readbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gather swallows twitter in the skies.
So it might already be autumn, or it might not be here for a few more days yet, who can tell, but I will enjoy the coming of the season and all that it will bring. I will also enjoy the promise of new things yet to come!
All photos in this post are from my archive