I love this time of year – almost but not quite autumn; the mists, damp mornings, the smells of the meadows and woodland that aren’t here at any other time; the earthy richness of the land. Today we picked our first blackberries and gathered the first fallen apples for a pie with lunch in a little ritual that we undertake each year; a private affair that celebrates the harvest and the year’s promise of closing down for the winter. I’ve had people tell me that autumn is depressing because it signifies the end of the year and that the shortening days are no reason for celebration but I’ve never felt that. For me it’s an evocative time, a rich and essential part in the process of renewal. So it’s always been important, in a way I can’t explain, to acknowledge these subtle markers of the changing seasons as signs of continuity; proof that life renews itself and is ongoing.
I guess it’s an aspect of the human psyche to take continuity for granted so long as the path travelled is relatively smooth and the direction it follows relatively agreeable. Sometimes, however, life delivers a blow that forces you to stop and draw breath, like it did for me this week. So the sojourn to Cannes is cancelled and I find myself in England, spending a lot of time standing outside in wet, long grass, looking at the changing season and thinking far too deeply about the frailty of existence.
I lost someone very dear to me this week and the hardest thing to comprehend is that the world didn’t stop.