Seasons turning

There are days when I wake up and almost immediately the brain starts to supply me with the list of all the things I haven’t done, all the ways in which it is displeased with me, all the shoulds and musts and have tos. I’ve been wading through a treacle soup of should have, could have, must have had, but I start to feel like I am at least making headway towards some useful sort of footing again. Work is going a bit better again, my episodes of inspiration and productivity are pretty decent at the moment, so it’s easier to decide to feck off for a slightly extended lunch and wander about Charleville and breathe in some Autumn.

I adore the transition seasons, Spring and Autumn, best. The light is different, it feels better in some ill defined sense I may eventually put a finger on in my ancient years. For right now all I can come up with is that it slants, that skies feather with it, that it has a whole new spectrum of pinks and golds that give it depth. Summer light feels relentlessly present, an unblinking attention. Autumn light feels conspiratorial, the friend on the forest track swapping observations about dew on cobwebs, or new tiny growing things peering from the dying back excesses of summer ferns. It is flattering and soulful, casting thoughtful shadows artfully among fat, rich, textured sunbeams. Rain is not yet that murk fest that comes towards Winter, grey, assuredly, but somehow light, shot through with silver or charcoal’s secret glimmer. The winds haven’t yet congealed into the sludgey assault of slapped together pads of dead leaves. This is the season of delicate spirals, of golden drifts, of flashes of vermillion, garnet, chestnut, russet, ruby and the flush of rose and bronze. Sheens, glazes, luster, patinas.

Yesterday was a warm day, as warm as many during the summer when I complained about the heat, but it didn’t feel like it. Perhaps the way everything cools overnight gives the heart of the day something fresher. I grinned like a loon because it felt good. The forest was vibrant with bird song and a ticking or clicking rather than the summer buzz and whine. The ground is no longer parched and hard, footsteps slide into more complicated chords of damp splatter, leaf rustle, twig snap and leather. There were other walkers but they were elsewhere, the vaguest impression of voice carried on breeze quickly forgotten. There was huge pleasure in registering the difference with my currently full of traffic noise new -and as yet unfamiliar -office. It was of necessity a short walk, but filled with tiny wonders as my favourite walks tend to be.

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