on the way to Autumn

Autumn has appeared abruptly this year. One moment, we were sweltering in yet another heatwave and then almost over night we’ve been plunged into days of drizzle and low cloud. All around our valley home the mountainside colours are changing. The hillsides are slowly turning to mottled golds and browns as one by one, leaves begin to turn.

Yesterday, in between rain showers, we pulled on our wellies and waterproofs and headed out for a brisk walk in the nearby woods, jumping in muddy puddles and picking up handfuls of sticks along the way. Our destination was a little grove we fondly call ‘the tipis’ on account of the village of seemingly permanent dens scattered amongst the trees. As we walked the clouds had become ever more menacing, threatening us with yet another shower of rain. But arriving at our destination we were greeted with a break in the weather and that glorious autumnal light that appears at either end of the day at this time of year when the golden sun starts to sink lower.

For a happy hour or so we delighted in it’s magical sparkle, rebuilding one of the dens, seeking out mushrooms amongst the trees (we were unsuccessful) and even having an unexpected paddle in the nearby torrent.

Of course we brought some bear friend’s along with us…maman carried Émile in our favourite basket (along with our goûter – afternoon snack). Lily had a ride on my three year old daughter’s back in the most beautiful doll carrier we had given her as a gift for last winter Solstice. It was handmade in Belgium and I acquired it through the sweet Waldorf dollmaker Anouk of Mon Pilou.

I love these transient, liminal days: the border between the seasons. Having just returned from three weeks in psychiatric hospital with my bipolar disorder, it feels good to be walking together slowly, once again. Step by step, on the way to Autumn.

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