Autumn Equinox has passed and the season is changing. The rhythm of our lives subtly changes too. Falling into line. By stealth, stealing our evenings and refocusing our activities.
I still sit out on our swinging bench each evening, after shutting the hens away, but not so long. Even the dogs head back to the kitchen, rather than settling on the damp grass. Who can blame them?
This week I started to collect the apple windfalls. It will be a couple more weeks for the main crop, but I cannot resist taking the odd eating apple straight from the tree. Slightly sharp, but full of flavour.
It won’t be long before the family expect homemade apple pies, readily available in the fridge again. It is autumn after all.
The tomatoes are cropping. Tigerellas. More ripen every day. My evenings are spent processing and putting away yummy meals for the colder months.
I do love all the red garden goodies at this time of year.
The garden visitors are changing too. The swifts are starting to group before they head back to Africa. The garden warblers are no longer visiting our fennel. They must have set out on the journey already.
The bats have moved on to their autumn roost in the woods. I miss their evening flight. It does mean we can repair that part of the roof. They will be back to their maternity roost in our attic, come spring, so the builders have strict instructions not to seal it up.
The children are settled back into the rhythm of school. After school clubs are reinstated. They each have two music lessons and should have one sport but we are still to agree on a sporty activity for the two older ones. We’ll get there.
I’m starting to tutor in maths this autumn. An exciting change. Setting it up and adding it into the rhythm of our week.
And finally, I am back to knitting. Challenging myself to finish so many centimetres per evening. I want to be ready for Christmas this year. Hopefully, homemade goodies to gift.
I revel in the rhythm of the year. No point in booking out a week to sow or harvest, on a wall planner. Just the vague outlines of spring or autumn. Nor time marked out to turn the harvest into preserves. When the time is right, it is right.
The rhythm has changed and brings exciting times with it. I’ll miss the summer, but I can enjoy the memories. Even if it’s only via photos or completing a few crafting projects.
As I watched my son walk purposely ahead of me along the lane, I realised that this moment will be a distant memory before I know it.
He has two years left at primary school, but I’m more than aware how time can fly. His next oldest sister has joined their other sister at secondary, this September. I’m growing used to the idea of only one child to pick up from school and walk back along our lane.
Catching up with the day’s news.
Putting the world to rights.
I want to capture all these moments in my memory. Ready to pull out when I need them most.
How that day, I collected blackberries, from the hedgerows, for a crumble I had promised their father before he left. While my sweet, nine year old gathered blackberries for juice to share with his dog. He knows that she likes the taste.
Both of us delivered. Apple and blackberry crumble served with custard. There were second helpings.
I want to remember the moment I grabbed to add stitches to her quilt, while waiting for Eldest to weave out from her after-school club. Knowing she’ll come out in deep conversation with a friend. Slightly loitering to finish. Turning to another. Then she’ll smile and wave goodbye. Flinging herself into the car and checking for treats that I’ve remembered to bring.
In the meantime, I sew and admire the wonderful green landscaped school she and her sister go to. Where they have to check for farm tractors or cows being herded down a green lane that they cross, as they head for further playing fields. Not many other buildings around the campus. Just farm land.
Noticing the crisp white lines on the nearby field, marking out a pitch. How long before it needs marking again. The generous number of bins, leaving no excuse for litter. Middle daughter says that they are every 10 metres. I’m not sure about that.
Noticing the car parked ahead, waiting for a sixth former to finish class. L- plate on back and mother moved over to passenger seat. A sticker in the back explaining in an amusing way why the car may be slow. A black box. Restricted speed. Gutted.
That will be us in three years’ time. Gulp.
Back home, in the garden. The sunflowers’ time is almost up. The plan is to harvest and store them. Putting one head out on the bird table each month. Not quite enough for each month, but six will provide a treat during the coldest months.
I can still take a moment to enjoy the two surprise sunflowers in the kitchen garden. Planted by birds. Elegance and a touch of sadness that the growing year is passing.
Taking a moment to notice several more hidden pumpkins growing to sizes that I never anticipated. More pumpkin recipes required.
Back in my sewing room, I’ve left a skirt cut out on the ironing board. I’m undecided. When I cut this out, – was it two years ago – my hips were slightly narrower. I know that I’m more active in autumn, so there is a good chance I’ll lose it again. The uncertainty hampers my progress.
Not helped maybe by my marathon baking session that morning. Cooker is scheduled to be out of action maybe for a few days while repairs are completed. I grab the moment to bake for the weekend. Granola for breakfast. Butternut squash for supper. Cookies and two different kinds of cake to satisfy even my fussy eaters. Figs dried for later use.
I’m organized. I sit at the kitchen table amending work spreadsheets. Relying on the timer to prompt me to slide trays in and out of the oven. For one moment, I feel truly efficient.
I want to hold on to all these moments.
Mindful of each precious moment.