The Autumnal

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face

John Donne

It is the time of the autumn equinox, or Mabon. A time when summer and all of its bounties are coming to an end. The fields are almost empty. Crops have been harvested and stored for the coming winter. Mabon is the mid-harvest festival, and it is when we take a few moments to honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest. On or around September 21-23rd, it is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other emotional or material blessings. It’s a time of plenty, of gratitude, and for a short period, a time when there are equal amounts of daylight and dark. The world is in equilibrium.

This year I have failed spectacularly to make bramble jelly with fruits from the hedgerow, or scrump for apples or collect conkers with the boys. There is still time I guess, for a last minute Autumnal pursuit, but in my head at least I have sought comfort from these Hygge inducing activities.

This year however, there are other priorities!

Here in Scotland, at least the warmth is behind us and cold lies ahead. Time for growers like myself to snuggle in front of the fire with seed catalogues to plan and prepare for the following spring. A tartan throw, a steaming mug of tea and a slice of orange and polenta cake with the soothing sounds of Monty Don on Gardeners World in the background is the ideal way to spend a Friday evening. However, I know that I will be elbow deep in nettles preparing my small patch for the 1000 or so Tulips which are about to grace my doorstep any day soon.

Hard work aside, Autumn is a time rich in magic and I for one will take the opportunity to look up from my unruly square of soil from time to time to drink it all in.


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