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
– John Keats
Earlier this week there were two whole days that felt, at last, like autumn. Cold mornings, a touch of wind. On our path along Rathdowne Street, the first of the leaves were starting to fall. Scout looked up at me from kicking the leaves. “Is it real autumn yet?” The children can’t quite grasp how the calendar can say autumn on a 39 degree day. I’m finding that a little hard to accept, too.
Autumn is a shedding, a paring back. The trees shed their leaves, I shed the weight of summer and step out alive into the day. Relief. On the weekend, riding home in the pram after going out for dinner, a cool wind lifted Ralph’s curls. “Are you cold” I asked him, “would you like a cardigan?” Ralph spread his arms wide in the air, all goose-pimply and pale, relishing the unfamiliar sensation of cold on his skin. “No thank you,” he said. “It lovely!” My own boy.
Right now the soil in our garden is radiating heat, holding onto the indian summer like buried coals in sand. But I am hopeful, hopeful that soon – any day now! – the “season of mists” will finally roll through. Buoyed by that hope, today I have been choosing bulbs to plant in my garden after Easter. I’m thinking bluebells, lily-of-the-valley, and then a riot of ranunculus for colour.
Also I’m supposed to be detoxing but last night I ate two hot cross buns while watching the Bachelor finale.
Maybe it really is autumn.
Image credit: Maria Shanina, licensed for unlimited use