2 September 2019
Chill wind creeping in testing the waters to see if autumn is ready for the annual dance; slowly it walks between the trees as sun rises up to rule the day; not yet the dance not yet the swirl of leaves or sudden gusts just a wanderer come to view the land and consider when summer will have weakened.
3 September 2019
All still no breeze no waft of air not driven by our passing but the first morning where the world is chill if not yet cold. Night has pulled out the heat and only direct radiance warms the skin; within the wood all creatures heed the signal and begin their earnest preparations for the cold; whilst sunshine pushes out the hints of autumn into a bright and balmy day.
4 September 2019
Warmth holds sway banishing what night chill might have been trying to pull in a little autumn; sun lights up the oak leaves that fell last year and now lie scattered in the grass and under summer’s growth; from broken shards of ancient pottery that never could be reassembled to others dry and brown but otherwise as whole and pristine as the day they fell.
5 September 2019
Leaves at the outer edges of oaks especially on the outer edges of the wood have begun to shrink and dry to sink and cry to fade and die as they see the end of their short lives in service to their mother tree; and so the goodness they have held and used to feed the community that is tree is returned onto the centre to be packed down and held through winter to arise in spring.
6 September 2019
Roots are marked and mark where we have trodden over years; they stand high upon the earth we have pressed and compacted with our travel; in places lifted clear of soil so they hang in space ungrounded; some are broken connections lost; or crushed beneath our weight the skin has gone and they have cried and dried and died.
7 September 2019
My chest constricts as I approach heart stills and arteries pause in their throbbing; time sighs and discards its meaning and I am held in a moment an instant a beat that has no dimensions and yet lasts forever.
8 September 2019
New sprung as if from dragon’s teeth the suburban grass is green and straight and neatly placed perfectly aligned in every way leaving little sense of nature’s winding wandering way of growing grass.
9 September 2019
Birds dive from tree to feeder dipping low and braking with the air to snatch some seed and flit away in fear of predator or human; that strange giant who cannot be trusted. Flashes of grey and white and yellow draw the eye from creeping squirrel diligently digging holes within the lawn.
10 September 2019
Cool sun rises over rooftops delicately sparkling the dew drops that on the points of blades of grass balance like ballet dancers on their toes. Lone parakeet munches at the feeders staying put not flitting in and out like finches; pauses perhaps to swallow or to clear its crop; then spooks and flies away a blur of yellow disappearing in the eye.
11 September 2019
Roads were not built for humans but designed for vast machines to trundle down for lane hoppers to dance and dangle for brake lights to illuminate with all the force of Christmas trees and for time to pass in unmitigated discomfort as the clock ticks steadily on and the airport draws no closer.
12 September 2019
Mist grips the ground the ground of home which grips me close and young dog dances round and round to welcome me and old dog walks up to check that I am me; and mist holds the ground in the first real step to autumn.
13 September 2019
Sun low and straight into my eyes a blinding ball of fire made worse by glass refractions that catch the light and twist it in by mist that sits inside the glass and gentles it insufficiently to quell the fire and I must drive inch by inch until the trees provide some shade.
14 September 2019
Sun slips between the leaves and sips dew from off the blades of grass gently wiping them to leave them dry and clear to drive the photosynthesis that feeds their plant and grows their fellow leaves that all may hold together until the autumn.
15 September 2019
Air is warmed by early sun now warmer than it was a few days hence as summer holds its place against the coming of the autumn as summer keeps its mark upon the earth and matures fruit and flower holds back the cold to allow the gathering of nuts and seeds for winter stores.
16 September 2019
Dry ground earth heading to bare patches as grass dies back from green to brown and hinting at the final step to dust. Only at the margins where water still flows slowly in the river and leeches into banks does lush grass grow; and in secluded pockets in the wood where sunshine takes its time to arrive and night's dew can slip from blades and settle in the earth to lubricate the roots.
Stars scud across the sky and I would scream as they travel in their wanderings about the universe; I would cry to them and ask they hear and stop and listen; I ask not for understanding for I do not understand I just know that I would scream and want that they should hear and that I should know they heard; yet all is silent for the clouds are low and stars do not appear.
17 September 2019
Warmth struggles to radiate through the air; bright and clear but less heat than yesterday; autumn coolness has slipped in amongst the night shades and strokes the leaves to let them have a taste of cold to come.
18 September 2019
By their very presence welcome visitors intrude and change the world nearby; led about and round our small domain sometimes appearing in unexpected places; rhythms alter to accommodate the air they breathe and the spaces that they occupy; and who knows whether this new tempo comes closer to something that we can call natural.
19 September 2019
Babies become people as they smile and stand and grimace and ponder; beautiful are the smiles and the growth but best of all is that wonder at the world a gigantic acceptance that what is simply is and must be considered and investigated possibly understood and once in a while cried over because my sister has something I do not.
20 September 2019
It is the corner that I fear; the turn from what was normal to what normal has become; my chest constricts and squeezes upon the airways to slow my walk and make me ponder chance or meaning that I cannot understand. And finally I am there with the bed the shaded windows and the quiet.
21 September 2019
Pigeon waddles roundly about the earth collecting fallen seed; parakeet swoops with silent whoops from trees to feeder and gobbles all that is available; whilst a nuthatch glides in from high and settles briefly to delicately nibble.
22 September 2019
Bare feet on lawn slightly damp and well kept suburban; you can feel the spring of the single bright species that stands up for mowing and leans into its stripes; so different from our French grass where species grow at different rates and lean in all known directions.
23 September 2019
I rest my hand upon his wrist and unintended I feel the less than perfect pulse then watch the slow fall and rise of chest and hear the sometimes wheeze wondering how much uncertainty is me and how much him. Kites wheel on high waiting to land and settle upon some great and momentous event; the birth of kings or death of emperors. An insect as safe and solitary and sound and flimsy as an unfinished web that finds its strands lined up along the path the storm must pass; and in a world where all things have their formal names a Pholcus phalangioides a daddy long legs is held against the window pane by a merest waft of wind a breeze so soft and gentle that most would barely notice now becomes a hurricanoe fit to crack your cheeks; legs strain to move back into the air into that space of light and life of love and laughter; and those insect eyes stare unnervingly at me because she knows how short the future lies; how the strain and struggle which once was the joy of the scuffle and the skirmish of family and of lover and of generations and now is but a sad scrapping against inevitable resignation must end; how the cool of early autumn has set a chill that cannot be defeated or avoided.
24 September 2019
All is rain here in a countryside so very English that hurtles down on lawn and road and lane and field; and good for gardens where constant growing gives it routes to depths of soil; from fields it flows from hardened ground now bare from summer harvests; throws both it and soil onto the roads to wash away yet more of this demi-paradise into the silver sea.
25 September 2019
Grey as only an English sky can be grey; a single shade that spans the open firmament; stretching from tree to tree and roof to roof; lightness to the east as a sun rises slowly in the air; and despite the urban sprawl of brick and tile road and render eventually it is the green that predominates and balances the grey; verdant mature engaging and brilliant.
26 September 2019
Autumn has slipped in whilst we were away and painted a carefully selected leaves a delicate soft shade of yellow; so trees now stand with greens that are preparing to begin to fade and entire leaves that no longer seem to fit; a hint of what will come in coming weeks before she succumbs to Winter.
27 September 2019
Light rain has been falling through the dark hours; sitting on grasses and resting on leaves; ground this ground we steward for the future sucks it up and holds it for tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
28 September 2019
Two dogs two leads required in semi-public space so walking will become entangled in tree and root in limb of tree and limb of leg in saplings rising to find the light; paces change so one of fast and other slow; one heads left and other right; and a rare respite when both dogs walk as if in unison.
29 September 2019
At the Sablanceaux the bridge of Ile de Ré
To each a bridge built of steel and stone and sweat of blood and tears of joys and fears of hopes fulfilled and dreams long dashed. It rises in the morning of the world under a sun that promises a glorious summer that seems to last forever each support higher than the last striding out to sea with a solidity that has not been seen since giants walked the earth; so strong so permanent so unbending and unending it has the strength to hold and hug a multitude. And from the very moment of its conception despite the certainty of so many that it will survive to the last syllable of recorded time in the distance a mist begins to form that lets us wish that there is no breath that will not be followed by another no heartbeat that will be the last; and yet deep within that mist there is a day an hour a minute and a second upon which all will cease.
30 September 2019
Autumn has taken hold whilst no one watched and closed down summer so her gentle winds can rustle the leaves that she is turning red and yellow and brown in preparation for the blasts she will let loose about the trees to shake out old and broken branches and create a carpet on the woodland floor.
1 September 2019
Followed by old dog hopeful for some sweetness I walk down to the bees with the remnants of the harvest the empty frames buckets and tools still coated with their produce that we have carefully stored for us and ours; and I cannot help but wonder, whilst we have helped them find a home and grow and reproduce, at the mirror of our society where rich and capable exploit the labours of the poor and wretched.