It happened in mid-August, we were in the yard dillying over dying pots of cucumbers, tomatoes, marigolds and dogwood. A holiday of less than a week and a watering schedule to tide them over, but still it was not enough. For every plant that bloomed and sang in hazy evenings, another was scorched by London's graveled heat. It was the height of summer, at this peak, that I saw it happen: the light fell on the Black-Russian Tomatoes a centimeter lower; a minute or two earlier than it had the week before. The heat of the sun was summer, but autumn was creeping through the shadows.
I anticipate autumn-light like others look for snowdrops in spring or roses in summer. Autumn is the year's swansong. Spring makes our hearts sing, but it is Autumn that makes it leap. It is sweeter in it's climax; sadder in it's fall; precious in the life that unfolds and remains within. But I am an autumn baby: bias to its whimsy and instituionalised by 28 years of academic new years. In winter I am giddy with festive lights, long nights wrap round me like blankets, but by spring I am so deprived of sunshine I will sleep through the day thinking it is nothing more than another night-light. It takes most of the summer to wake me up, but by August I am just about to take those high blue skies for granted again when they dip just ever so slightly and so it is that I find myself standing in front of the tomato plants watching those shadows stretch. It is time to gather up my thoughts and prepare for what could be.
June to Spetember light in 2016
Historian by trade. Gardener by passion.