Well, my friends- looks like it's that time of year again. That time when the blazing green of summer fields grow out of the rebellious stage and take on a softer, golden hue. The crunch of leaves underfoot returns of a swift morning run to the bus stop, as schools return to life, and sleeping patterns are, once again, utterly destroyed. The setting sun catching the light of the fields, the trees, the river and setting all ablaze in an iridescent flame. It's that time of year again: Autumn.
There's just something about Autumn in Britain, my friends, and for those of you across the Pond, I should mention that, yes, "The rain, it raineth every day", but that is nothing new. The whole atmosphere changes in Autumn here. When the schools return to a new term, the whole countryside, birds resting after a summer of childrens' screeching. Muddy paths and puddles left untouched as no footprints run through them. September is still warm, yet there is an air of change - the mornings call for a coat now, and the darkness sets in just a few moments earlier, pulling curtains closed on an ancient sky of stained glass. The thirty days whip by in a flurry, the days getting shorter, nights becoming cooler, crisp rain watering the dehydrated lands.
And then, before we know it, it's October. The country walks are now littered with leaves, adding bite to the soft squelch of mud underfoot, a crisp crunch as they are stepped upon. The warmth of summer has left the air, and seemingly injected itself into the leaves, as they light up in flame. Russet lining, a red carpet of humanity, of commoners such as me, a golden crown of oak leaves fluttering down around us; unknown is the royalty of the countryside. The jumpers are making their way into fashion now - a hug of fabric, settling around your shoulders as you step into the morning sun; an ice blue sky, weak sun sparkling on dew, sevens of geese the only movement to be seen, as they honk on through the sky, waking the sleeping country beneath. An evening stroll often seen in summer takes on a new meaning now. The lamplight of a sun mirroring the snowball moon, both standing high above the earth, spreading shadows below them; shadows of witches' brooms and spirits untold to the trick-or-treating children of a hallowe'en eve. The sunlight, once scorching and harsh now settles softly over the earth, a light blanket of sleep as the year looks to its end. The fields of gold are liquid now - rolling away to kingdom come, the rivers reflecting the light as if they were never there at all.
November brings a promise of Christmas, albeit too soon. Hot chocolate and marshmallows, bonfires and fireworks; new lights now, dancing in the void that the sun has left behind, Remembrance brings out the red of poppies, as a nation falls silent as once it fell to its knees. And, before we know it, autumn will be gone. So full of peace and light, taken in for a dark winter's eve.
Take notice of your autumn, my friends - it's far more that s joint between heat and cold, light and dark, summer and winter. Autumn, my friends, is the royalty of the year - golden, rich and lined in a russet cape.