Every morning this last week or so, I have awoken to a typical autumn day, and yet each has been so very different. Still, as I step out of my door into the hazy half-light and world of muted colours, I think ‘what a gorgeous, typical autumn day!’. As I step out and put up my brolly quickly to avoid the mist-like rain, and the leaves lay sodden at my feet, I think ‘gosh, how damp- what a typical autumn day!’. As I walk into work with the cold wind stinging my cheeks and crisp leaves whipped around my ankles, I think how nice it will be to come in out of the cold to a nice cup of tea…and that it is another typical autumn day.
I was walking through the park to work on just such a typical autumn day- the kind where there has almost been a frost; the air is nippy, every roof has a pale shimmer to it, and the grass looks as though if you picked a blade to nibble on, it would taste of peppermint creams. The sunlight was almost dazzling in its brightness. All through the park, there were vast swathes of shadow, sliced into by vivid slashes of sunlight. Where the sun fell, the grass and bark and water was normal in colour, but where it could not reach, the ice had rendered the colours a subtle whisper of their usual hue. The light and shade and brilliant light made me wonder if, should you be able to stand far enough away, would you be able to see some beautiful pattern? And being here down on the ground and so tiny, you can see only a tiny part, that doesn’t make any sense? It reminded me of how sometimes, I lay a paper doily on a freshly baked sponge, and sift icing sugar over to make a pretty stencil. It is as though some large, unseen hand has laid a doily over the park and made their own lacy pattern from tree trunks and flower beds.
I love how autumn days can be so different and yet all so autumnal. On Sunday we wandered into town together. It was so cold that when we wandered, unawares, past a snow machine, it took us a moment to realise that it wasn’t actually snowing. We wandered until we were too cold to enjoy wandering anymore, whereupon we repaired to a pub and sat by a coal fire to eat roast beef and crunch roast potatoes. We were in a dark little corner, lit by candles, sitting in a wing-backed chair. I could see out of a tiny window, and watched the sky turn slate-grey, then night fall. Full and warm, we wandered home…another delicious autumn day, done.