My old friend autumn has returned to me. I felt it a few weeks ago as the air began to cool and the horse chestnuts began to put on their yellow and rust. There are many things that mark out this season here. The tomatoes are harvested from the greenhouse as often as we can, before the exhausted golden plants drop them wearily. Tomato soup, beetroot soup, tomato and beetroot soup. Then the bees need fed again, and some of their honey sits in the corner still to be extracted and destined for porridge on dark mornings.
There are many things that add to the feeling of autumn, but tonight it felt closer than ever. The darkening evenings and the ritualistic closing of the gate are two things that synchronized tonight. As I walked down the lane the quarter moon hung low in the south west. Earlier that evening we added the ‘see the moon’ game to the little people’s night time routine. Bath time, milk, clean the teeth, hang out the window in the roof and find the moon, stories, prayers, then bed…..then IT’S TOO DARK!…then THAT WARDROBE LOOKS SCARY…..then the torrent of random questions that flow from a five year old mind unfolding: “Why do flies die in winter?” “Is it possible to go to sleep and still count all the stars?” “Who will look after all the baby flies in winter?” Tonight the little man found the moon quickly and declared that he could see the hare in the moon; “just the beginning of it”.
With the little people filled with stories, I rumbled a bin down the lane and closed the gate. The clouds left big holes for the moon and hints of autumn constellations to shine through. Sygnus migrating. The air was cool and the fields were filling with the thin fog that clings to everything gently and begins to make the moon and stars really feel like they are up there and you are down here; grounded. The sights and smells of the night filled me and I could not shake the autumnal feeling and the thought of halloween not being far away. To be honest that was probably because the lane runs beside a few acres of turnips.