I have been dragged kicking and screaming into this new season. According to the calendar our autumn is officially three weeks old. But at precisely 11:28pm last night, the autumn equinox occurred. I wasn’t really aware of it as I’m not so keenly cognisant of an event that brings about the demise of my growing season as I am something that brings about the arrival of it. I tend to bury my head in the sand and pretend the leaves aren’t changing colour, the need for socks is just a one off, the dwindling harvest is just an excuse to plant more things.
Astronomically the equinox means the position of the earth in relation to the sun is such that where ever you are in the world the length of the day is the same as the length of the night. It is like passing a baton in a relay – the baton of long warm summer evenings. We have enjoyed them down under and now it is time for the north to have them. I do have to admit to reluctantly noticing the creep towards this moment as the nights are drawing in and more often than not I am waking to something that could be called darkness, but not quite. So now we have to hunker down for shorter days with increasingly colder weather.
However, despite my love of the growing season, and all the wonderful things it brings, I do love the autumn. The air, while cooling, is still warm and cosy and it embraces you in a way the searing heat of summer doesn’t. You can’t deny the beauty in the colours of the leaves. After a season of salad, a bowl of thick vegetable soup is welcoming. The weather in this season is generally the most settled of all and gently eases us into the harshness of winter.
So, from today I will no longer bemoan the loss of a season that never was and embrace all of the wonderful things about the season we are in. Autumn deserves to be acknowledged for all that is good about it and not as an usurper of summer.
Come again soon – we shall garden boldly into this fabulous season
Sarah the Gardener : o)