Now that the slew of back-to-school posts has slowed to a final trickle of the few parents who didn’t catch up their writing to the season (or are busier living real life than writing it) I’ve been busted: I haven’t been writing much. And I just got called on it by Lisa, who very sweetly wanted to know what the devil was up with me (“call yourself a writer?”) and wondered whether I’d be returning to more regular output of wordage in the near future (“Just something – *anything* – stick random words next to each other for all I care, but stop moping and write!”).
I resisted. I screamed and kicked and pulled faces, but she was quite insistent that I get back on the blogging pony and have a little gallop around. So I pulled out my Big Gun and demanded a topic, claiming Lack Of Inspiration. She mumbled something about needing to run away to some parent-teacher-meeting, and anyway she was sick, and surely *I* should be the one thinking of ways to entertain HER, rather than needing ideas spoon-fed to me, and as a parting shot (yelled, over her shoulder, as she slammed out) suggested “Autumn in England”.*
Rats! I hate Autumn. Only slightly less than I hate Winter. So here goes nothing…
BUT in the true spirit of writer-y-ness,
I suppose I’ve got to I’m going to do my very most beautifullest, chock-full-of-feels writing, because otherwise no-one will bother reading it I *know* that there are some delightful things about Autumn, there totally ARE NOT! if only I put my mind to seeking them out, which is what Life in Silver Linings is all about, Lovelies.
I think the thing which has been most immediately noticeable about Autumn has been the nights drawing in. It’s a sad refrain, which I’ve heard echoed across the Blogosphere; darkness befalls us earlier and earlier, and the warm, bright evenings are receding and becoming distant memories.
The sunsets seem every bit as spectacular, though – if not more determined to make the most of their earlier showing – sketching themselves across the paler skies in a melee of cotton-candy pink and pearl-grey clouds, whilst the air is still warm enough to hold the residual scent of grass which has been glowing in the sun (with that particular golden light which seems only to happen in autumn – the one which drips through the branches of trees like syrup, and tangles itself with sparkling dust-motes on the way to the dappled floor).
As for the mornings – wow! – it’s been a little miserable to get up and stumble around in the dark, but seeing the sun rise, and the day unveil itself all fresh and beautiful as though it had just been washed clean and ready to go; that’s a wonderful thing to behold. This morning particularly, when bright-white contrails stretched themselves across forget-me-not blue, dipping their fingers into the peach hues of the imminent sunshine, looking like nothing so much as exquisitely crafted frosting, skeddling themselves across an enormous sky-cake almost good enough to eat. And the air (as I stood on the balcony in my pyjamas, taking a photograph for Instagram) tasted crystal-clear, as though the day was filled with new opportunities.
The trees have been turning, but slowly – a gentle, creeping gauze of yellow and orange has laid itself across their branches, which are still mostly green, with a confetti of leaves bedecking the ground, as though celebrating the joining of seasons in the intertwining scents of flowers still blooming furiously and spilling their perfume into an air which is tangy with woodsmoke and the onset of coolness.
Promises have been made with that coolness, and the bright skies in the morning now take the breath away with their chill beauty – the dew spangling each blade of grass as though fairies had been let loose with silver glitter-glue overnight – and the sun sweeps down with the gentlest hints of warmth-for-later, soothing goose-bumped skin as I cycle past fields which are more mist-smoked every day, and will soon envelop me in fog…
There have been moments under trees, where the reds and golds of fallen leaves mingle with the scent of damp earth, as rich and loamy as fruit cake, creating a jewelled bouquet which whispers of harvest; of crisp, juicy apples which snap when you bite them fresh from the tree; of fingers and lips stained purple with blackberry juice; and of sweet, rich plums with golden nectar bursting in beads through the dusky bloom on their skins.
I’ve seen the first, silhouetted lines of ducks strung like dark beads across blinding skies, as they point their necks towards warmer climes and escape the oncoming cold. I’ve seen hedgerows bedecked in red berries, promising a hard winter (according to the old folk’s tales). I’ve felt the sudden, rippling warmth from coming indoors in the evening, having not realised how cold it had become outside.
Soon I shall know the comfort of a hot cup of tea, a warm blanket, and the delight of curling up safe in someone’s arms at the end of the day as the birdsong gives way to the gloaming…but for now, there are enough afternoons of sunshine – paler, but with a fierce heat – to reassure me that Summer isn’t quite ready for her last dance yet.
*Lisa said none of those things. Bar the suggestion, which she did make. I took liberties to make an entertaining intro – did you like it?