A twist of red and gold in the leaves of the tree at work, this week; a blazing helix winding in the green, a spiral of fire and heat. Cold lungs in the morning, and frost underfoot, a lace that glitters and crisps where I step. Webs in the fences, the hedges, the gates, stars of silk strung bright with rain.
A time of turning, this. The trees to fire, the skies to ash. The clocks turn, too, their fingers spun back an hour into the past. The nights turn cold. Breaths turn to smoke and hang in the air, rolling and fuming like genies let out of their bottles at last.
These days of wiltings and woodsmoke, wool gloves, and leaf-drifts, stars and fogs and fires. The closing out of the old year, a quietness, a settling. It always feels like I'm resting, here, like a bear gone to bed for the season, snug under rugs of earth and fur, dreams full of sunshine and sea-salt and freedom.
The pull is too strong to wait for that last night of December, with its lists of musts and wills, its skies ablaze with noise and colour. The reckoning begins now, for me, as it does each year. The past months gathered in my lap like flowers. I sort with practiced hands through roots and blooms. Some I keep to press into forever. Some I toss, too bitter for permanence, too faded to brighten a future hour.
This, this life: like tending a garden. What do I want to plant in the clean Spring rains? How will I weather the Winter? I cut and prune, and plan for the coming calendar.
The trees cast off their old greens and burn, and I, too, feel called to change. To rest before the next rising. To contemplate - with clear eyes and a quiet heart - the next turn.