The Leaves They Fall.
The leaves they fall, a riot of colour now muted. Softly, in damp fog, following clear water droplets from the tips of branches. They let go and float, rocking gently downwards on invisible currents. The earth becomes a blanket of leaves, yellows, reds, browns. November settles in and we wait.
Second lockdown slows us a little, here on this island. We are tired, scared, empty. We wait for vaccines, we wait for tests, we wait to heal. News comes, finally, from over the Atlantic – and we wait to see the fallout and the changes that may follow. All big things, feeling like a world away.
Yet, in all this, a feeling that change is coming. Possibility, knowledge gained and stored, resilience built in some small part. We are weathering this. We are learning. The autumn brings clarity on sharp, ice air. Things that need to change. And we have the time, now, to rest our thoughts upon how.
I settle on the stone bench by the pond, enveloped by the thick fog resting in the valley today. Sounds seem far away, and trees drip steadily onto the dark, damp earth. My lungs breathe in cold air, alive with the scent of autumn. Sparrows hop and chirp and bustle each other around the bird feeders. I am cocooned in an Icelandic jumper, with hot tea and wild hair. Bundled up, yet still part of the landscape.
Spider webs glisten with jewel-like droplets, spun in between the rushes in the pond, hanging from the shed windows. Hundreds of berries shine red on the holly tree, waiting for the arrival of Redwings. Due in a few weeks, they will clear the tree of berries in 3 days flat then move onwards. It is such a joy to see them stop by on their journey.
The last months have been frenetic, uncertain, exhausting. We are a little lost – there is no finality, no end. Everything feels like a daydream. The days seem the same, day after day after day. But the colder nights, the collective exhalation of the world around us – it reminds us that things will move forward, slowly, eventually.
As we pause, the world ticks on. When there is nothing to grasp onto, we can know this.
The birds will migrate, the nights will shorten.
The leaves will fall.