Autumn frieze

Autumn – the word is a breath of chill, of change.  It brings a frisson of dread – all those cold dark days ahead, the battle with the elements, life a struggle, a shrinking from illness and winter isolation.
I pulled back my curtains this morning to see a chill blue sky, wisps of mist stranded across the meadows and the sheep scattered immobile – freeze-framed in the morning light.  Not a movement.  Strangely silent and still.
Later, coffee cup to hand, I note a grey-brown shape on the blackthorn across the garden.  Puzzled, I try to make out what it is.  Then a twitch and a slight ruffling of feathers betrays a female blackbird, paused among the brilliant red berries.
All of nature in this place seems to have taken in a breath and stopped – waiting, waiting, noting the change in the air.
The first day of autumn has crept in with the dawn, slyly chased by a shivering moon.
I am beset by household muddle – awash with sorting and tidying and cleaning.  My ‘spring’ clean is an autumn one.  A strong urgency to make things orderly – check the store cupboards, clear and sort the contents of the freezer to make room for the autumn harvest (converted into pulp and soup). In my chaotic activity, driven on by an energy from I know not where, I considered myself to be alone in this need to ‘put my house in order’ – but now I see that I am merely a part of a huge energy sweeping the land – one that has recognised the turning of this season for countless centuries.
My fears of cold and hardship are nothing but the mild inconveniences  of a pampered age.  From the begnning of all things there have been times of plenty and times of want.  Winter was a dreaded adversary then – now far from it.  My cupboards are full and I can afford to refill them.  The battle is unreal.
Nevertheless, with all the creatures of this place I took a moment this morning to pause, to hold my head and listen.
Autumn crept in – lovely as she ever is – her arms full of plenty – gifts for us all to share.

About apthomas

I love books, reading, writing, baking, chocolate, painting, sewing, people and fairtrade - not necessarily in that order. I am a lazy gardener - who loves the garden, and a lazy housewife who likes the place to be warm and welcoming. I live in beautiful Somerset - but have had to leave the countryside at a little distance, having moved into town.
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