A season of mist and mellow fruitfulness

A season of mist and mellow fruitfulness

Whether you call it autumn or fall, I think John Keats had it right with his description. It is my favourite season, and I often wonder whether it’s because not only was I born in September, the beginning of autumn in the UK, but my colouring is aligned so well with autumnal colours, rich, mellow and warm. It just seems to suit me.

There is a nostalgia when I think of Autumn, each year eagerly anticipating crunchy leaves, cool sunny days, the scent of smoke lingering in the chilly air, and surrounded by the changing colours of the autumn landscape. Where I live the reality is often much damper, greyer and less ‘Hallmark movie’ than that.

Nonetheless, with a bounty of food in the wild, or the garden if you grow your own, there are so many ways to welcome a slower, gentler season and make the most of what’s around you.

The blackberries are ripening beautifully in our hedge and I can’t wait to make compotes and crumbles, and I already have a harvest of prematurely dropped hazelnuts and cobnuts, to which I will add more as the month progresses.

Now too, I start to think about how I will dress the house for autumn, and I always have more ideas than time. But embracing candlelight, and seasonal foliage are two simple ways to mark the change in the year.

I am starting to eye up my favourite knitwear, scarfs and gloves, but it’s still much too warm for that. Rather than wishing away the year, as some people say when people look to the next season, I see it as an acceptance that the seasons will change, and we must welcome them as old friends, each with their gifts to offer, rather than mourning the passing of what has just been.

To finish, a little poem I wrote that seems apt here.

What about Winter then, they said.

Doesn’t it fill you with fear and dread?

Not at all. Just think what the Winter will bring.

At the end of the cold and the darkness,

Is Spring.