Autumn is such a bittersweet season. It is my favourite season. I love the smell of leaves rotting, sending their nutrition back into the earth, the bite of the crisp morning air, the mist rising up over the river signaling the imminent arrival of winter. Mother earth has given us all she has and needs a rest for a few months before she can return to feed us with her bounty and warmth.
It is the time of soups and stews; Moorish food to warm the body and soul. The last of the harvest has been brought in; no more tomatoes or courgettes. The last of the potato crop has been dug up and stored for the months of hibernation. The lure of staying indoors curled up with a book and/or the children is irresistible.
Gloves are found and scarves are dug out of the bottom of the basket where they have spent their summer holidays, discarded after the last snow; forgotten despite their faithful service of last winter.
The darkness of the grey, damp winter days have not yet deflated my spirits. The excitement of Christmas begins to build and the laughter of Halloween looms with the promise of a delightful Thanksgiving feast well executed.
School days have found their rhythm and the children progress through each day growing in their abilities and knowledge, getting a step closer to the adults they will some day become.
Before long the days will become nearly indistinguishable with the nights. A fire will burn in the grate all day on the weekends and the aga will warm the kitchen. Socks will be worn to bed and we will cuddle up to each other to keep warm.
But for now, the electric blue sky signals another glorious respite from the biting rain, the gale force winds and surprising snow. The gold and red leaves light up the daytime landscape like Christmas lights.
And we attend the very last Harvest Festival in which our youngest child will shine whilst she gives thanks for all that she has and remembers that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. It is a lesson we would do well to pause and remember.