18 September 2010

Autumn and Winter

It was simple, the littlest whisper of change, but everything noticed it. Even as I sit here, the rain is slapping onto the window and the wind is flinging the potato leaves. The clothesline is swaying back and forth, if you stood near it the clothes pins would take your eyes.
My hands are cold, even though I am wrapped in a jumper and neck warmer and hat.
In one day, suddenly, without warning, autumn was here.
There was hot sun for a week, brown grass, scorched leaves. Then, that night, the rain started. It thundered and poured and when we woke up, it was autumn.
Now we will have the slightest glimpse of the sun, perhaps, every few days. No uncomfortable heat. No sweat without exertion.
Then, slowly, winter's icy fingers will tear at autumn, until it litters the ground like so many dead leaves. The frost will glisten on grass every morning, every breath will steam the air.
Perhaps there will be snow, only enough to linger for an hour, then the rain will wash it away. Or it will not snow at all, only the ground will be covered in icy tufts that seem like snow, and in between it seems clear until you are looking up at the sky on your back.
But the rain does not come unwelcomeed or uncelebrated. Autumn is my favourite season, and winter has many merits. Colder weather brings people together around fires, back from international summer holidays, back home.
And still, for weeks the roses will bloom, and the blackberries will ripen on their bushes. The sea will stay not icy not warm for many weeks yet.
But the cold has come.

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