Autumn’s dark days are coming, but the garden prevails



Everything is slowing down, but there are chores to do, and moments of magic to come

There is a moment when it hits you, like the end of an affair. There were signs you missed, maybe chose to ignore. The response to your touch, less immediate. The magic diminished. Face it. It is over. Approaching winter’s already won; summer’s sun has fallen. The brightest days of autumn cannot beat the retreat.

I am ever-alert for this moment. The first day you see the seedlings struggle. When new growth is a shadow of just weeks before. Stunted now, slowed.

I cannot pretend I love the arrival of the autumn equinox. I try. It is fine if I am walking in woods or by the sea, scuffing leaves, roasting pumpkins, gathering nuts, foraging for wild mushrooms, scouring for ever-smaller opportunities.

Many of my neighbours will cover their plots in the next weeks. Put it to sleep. But I was never one for abandoning. I am not over-keen on cloches or mini polytunnels (though I am again futilely researching them as I write).

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