Thursday, 2 October 2014

Autumn evenings, the nights are drawing in.

The days are noticeably shorter now and the Autumn sun is lower in the sky and casts a golden light in the late afternoon. There is something romantic and comforting about the longer evenings. Phrases ring round your thoughts like Autumn mists, mellow fruitfulness, golden slumbers. Even though the sun is still bright in the middle of the day and the leaves have yet to fall there is a stillness and a feeling that Nature is preparing to rest. The explosive abundance of summer is withdrawing down into the roots and the earth. the colours of the fruits, vegetables and fields change from bright red to golden and it is time to share the summer's harvest. The nuts are ripening and game abounds, wild mushrooms appear and deep amber colours herald the parting of the sun.
This is the season of equal night and day and we need to boost our immune systems by cleansing and nourishing the body and the mind. In Naturopathic terms autumn is connected with the stomach and the lungs so it is a chance to digest and store up reserves for the winter. So take deep breaths of crisp fresh air to nourish and cleanse , and eat grapes, mushrooms, pears, apples,pumpkin, celery, potatoes and root vegetables.
My poem for the day is by an American Quaker poet, John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892).

The autumn time has come;
On woods that dream of bloom,
And over purpling vines,
The low sun fainter shines.

The aster flower is failing,
The hazel's gold is paling;
Yet overhead more near
The eternal stars appear.

And present gratitude
Insures the future's good,
And for the things I see
I trust the things to be;

That in the paths untrod,
And the long days of God,
My feet shall still be led,
My heart be comforted.

Here are a few lines from Frost at Midnight by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) which are very reassuring to anyone who dislikes the long evenings and is dreading winter lots of older people that I know fear the long dark days which in the North of Europe can seem very long indeed.

Do not fear to hope......
Each time we smell the autumn's dying scent,
We know that primrose time will come again.

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