A lot of people enjoy the autumn; look forward to it even. Not me. I don’t like it at all. Unfairly, of course. I struggle to appreciate this season for itself, in its own right. Instead I consider autumn merely a herald of the coming gloom and doom of winter. Blighted by the company it keeps, I suppose.
Today I studied a golden bee, feasting on a seed-swelling sunflower, taking advantage of the few unpollinated flowers left at its disposal. It was a moment of peace and reflection. Which was a mistake. The morning, up to that point, had been spent defending plants from the over-exuberance of the Nancy Nightingale autumn clear-out. This consisted of my shouting “NO!” as the secateurs/fork approached the innocent party, executing a right shoulder judo roll and throwing myself between NN and the victim. All done in slow-mo. I really should demand danger money. I may have scuffed my new boots. Several “still life in the old dog” cosmos and a “merely resting” pot marigold undoubtedly hit the compost heap during in my bee distraction. No matter, they are after all hers to do with what she wills. And at this time of year it is tempting to throw in the towel, get rid of the ragged and half-spent, look forward to spring perfection. But in doing so we miss out on the moment. I must try harder, after all the moment is all we can be sure of.
Am I warming to the autumn? Perhaps. But on a glorious day like today, who wouldn’t? Ask me again at the end of the week. I will keep practicing.