Alexander Averin

Monday, 29 September 2008

Seasonal Thoughts

Header picture, Connemara Farm is an oil painting by Elizabeth Ryan

Dear Diary.

Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree”

Emily Bronte

A blade of grass

Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, "You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams."
Said the leaf indignant, "Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing."
Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again -- and she was a blade of grass.
And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, "O these autumn leaves! They make such a noise! They scatter all my winter dreams."

Kahlil Gibran
The Madman Chapter 30

There is life in the river, it’s that time of year again. September is ‘otter month’ and the dogs are very anxious to go out after dark and race straight for the river bank in great haste and excitement. I long for moonlit nights so I can watch again from my window.

We sat in the parlour in the dark last night, we tend to do that more often now and only put a light on if we are reading. I much prefer candles anyway and I guess we are saving money and energy too. It could have been spooky in complete darkness but it wasn’t. This cottage is free of spirit movement, it just carries an air about it, one of benevolence and a strong sense of restfulness. It feels like a prayer of peace.

We talked in the dark like children do in bed after hours and we imagined how, in days gone by, the blacksmiths and their families would have sat like us, by the hearth, probably by candlelight or an oil lamp. Would they have conversed in the same way? Noticed the sound of wildlife, the bark of a fox in the field, the scream of a vixen, the splash or whistling of the otters. Such peace only descends when electric light is banished and I think I will actively seek more of such tranquillity this coming winter.

It’s a beautiful sunny autumn day today. I’m still feeling ropey but am in the mood for sorting out my winter wardrobe. Wardrobe…..that sounds a bit on the posh side, it really means storing away my (very few) summer clothes and digging out the (even fewer) winter ones stashed away in a chest. There are hardly any, just some boring work trousers and jackets I shall probably never wear. Lots to throw out too. I am really in a throwing out mood. Drawers and cupboards will be next. It must be the New Moon.

My wardrobe is just layers and layers that get increased or decreased according to the temperature. I have desires though and will make a list. How I love making lists. Doesn’t every woman?

What do I desire this autumn?

All things purple of course, that goes without saying really.
I have my new purple coat, can’t wait to wear that.

Purple tights, fuchsia tights, grey tights, black tights.

Thermal vests and socks.

New boots?

I yearn for a frock or two (what is happening to me? I normally live in jeans/casual clothes). I can almost see the dresses that I desire. Long sleeved or three quarter length. Longish but not long. Jersey, maybe printed. V -neck or maybe scooped. Mustardy, gold or mulberry? Blackberry, purple or red? Or grey. I just love grey. Perhaps I could become the woman who only wears grey? Or purple? No doubt if I imagine these frocks they will materialise. I am a great believer in creative visualisation don’t you know.

I have quite a few scarves and shawls, I love to wrap myself up in these, they are both warmers and comforters. I broke my neck once and am starting to get a bit of neck ache sometimes. I find wearing a scarf quite soothing. Silk is best.

I need a warm dressing gown to snuggle in. Talking of which, I need to move the bed back to the middle of the bedroom, back to its winter position away from the window with its view of the river and the field. The glass is double glazed but is curtainless and seems to let the cold air through (if you lay right by it you can feel it).

Other plans for the coming season?

The logs are safely gathered in and our Log Angel still calls from time to time, bless him. The logs are drying out well after the flood.

In no time at all it will be home made soup and stew time. Cold, grey days spent baking cakes etc. I love comfort foods and am more inspired to cook in the winter months. Roasts, casseroles, curries, chillis and lots of lovely vegetarian meals.

And books to read…I have a list of those too.

Plenty of writing to do of course and blogs to read, lives to keep up with and on the family tree front there are genealogy trails that seem to never end.

Lots of sleeping and napping to enjoy on winter afternoons.

Early nights with a Good Book or snuggling up under a duvet on the sofa watching a film or something on TV that’s Worth Watching (so rare these days).

Brisk daily walks with the dogs or winter picnic trips out in the car or on the train to places of interest. (Playing at being a tourist)..

Blessings? I have been ignoring them of late so here are five.

The changing colours of the trees.

The power of rest.

Firelight and conversation.

The kindness of candles.


I’ll sign off now,

Go mbeannai Dia duit,



Pipany said...

Thank you Cait. That was just lovely. I am enjoying the season here too and love the lengthening dusk which passes so quickly in the summer months. So calming to sit by the fire and watch the last threads of daylight disappear isn't it? I hope you begin to feel better soon xx

ChrisH said...

That was a lovely cosy blog. I was nearly there chatting in bed with you.. in spirit of course otherwise it would be weird! Your room must have heard so many conversations in the dark. Get well soon.


Cait, sorry to hear that you've had flu, hope you are feeling stronger and that any black clouds don't float in your direction. Happy sorting. I love the lines by
Emily Bronte :) TFx


as ever Cait an inspiring blog.I do wish I could wathc otters by moonlight!

Pili pala said...

I love the way your gentle prose soothes and pacifies. I agree rest and being gentle with ones self is healing. I'm glad you feel better.
I'm off to light some candles. Nos da xx

mountainear said...

How I would like to watch otters by moonlight....get much pleasure from the clear night skies though. The stars seem to go on for ever.

Hope you are feeling better soon. x

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You are describing such a bounty of pleasures that only fall and winter bring! I love the idea of sitting in the dark, listening to the sounds of the night. Lovely.

Frances said...

Hello Cait, after a long, tiring day full of urban nonsense, I cannot quite tell you what a pleasure it is to read your words, and those of others that you share with us, line by line.

It slows me from my stress, takes me away from my micro worries, and lets me into the joy that life can bring day by day.


Pondside said...

Cait, I love your lists.
The idea of sitting together by candlelight - we only do it here when we lose power, but I may borrow the idea and say it's 'just because'.

Annie Bright said...

All so lovely, Cait. :-)

Milla said...

please don't say you took those photos or I'll just keel over with flabbergasted impressedness.

Lane said...

I always dread the end of summer and light evenings but after reading your post I'm actually starting to welcome Autumn and embrace all the colours and cosiness it brings. Thank you:-)

And you broke your neck? Good gracious!

CAMILLA said...

Dear Cait,

Love the verse of Emily Bronte.

I too love candles, I often have them burning in the cottage, something so cosy about candles.

Clothes - have a passion for coloured tights in Autumn and Winter with Boots.

I do love your list of five Blessings Cait, yes to all of them. Wonderful pictures too.

Hope you are feeling much better Cait, and that 'M' is on the way to recovery from his infection too.


KAREN said...

What gorgeous pictures and words :o)

I'm definitely looking forward to new boots and baking. And log fires. It's good to look at the positive aspects of autumn.

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