The days draw in. I wake in darkness; clear days are frosty now. Jackets, gloves and hats. Nights are long. Winter knocks at the door.
But autumn is beautiful this year. Lack of rain brings stronger, wilder, colors; the trees are vivid and bright. A sunny afternoon, a walk in the country with Suzie and Tim. Across the wide field over a fence and we enter a dell of beeches and elms, an occasional fir, some silent ancient oaks, spreading black branches laden with leaves of orange-red. We see the mark of beavers, tall trees gnawed around their base. A dark stream gurgles quietly toward Svartån – the big river – which meanders away to the distant city – unseen and unheard, for the moment forgotten. Upstream from where we stand is Hidinge village, a scatter of houses in a leafy forest, clustered around its fabled church whose silvery spire rises from the trees, visible for miles.
We walk and talk, camera shutters snapping, trying to catch this beauty, to hold it, to take it with us. We are immersed in the loveliness of autumn, but why try to possess such days, to keep them? We are desperate to keep this moment, this feeling. But we cannot own it, we must let go, if we are to allow the next season to capture us in its wonder, winter, when the earth disappears under a frozen blanket and the pure beauty of the snow settles on our world. The cycle of life, the seasons. Today we rejoice in this moment’s wonder, we live in the now, how foolish to think we can keep this moment of blessing and joy, it must pass and tomorrow there will be other blessings, other joys, and we will praise our Maker once more, for that which we can’t see now, but which we trust will come.
We wander home up the gentle slope of the wide green field, alive with newly sown shooting barley. We marvel at the mighty oak that stands majestic in lonely solitude in the sweep of green, a guardian, a shelter, a refuge. We watch as the sun settles behind the hills, silhouette of forest black on a fiery horizon. Geese flying in formation overhead break the silence with their noisy clamor. The darkness of night descends. So inside for scones and coffee with our friends. A perfect Sunday…