Oh come the winds and sharp flowers over icy breasts of the world. Come winter! I'm worn out by the heat. I want my blankets back again, my slippers, my gingerbread. I want the big squelchy months of comfort and rain-soaked dreams.
I went for a rambling drive yesterday through leafy suburbs I barely knew existed nearby. Their soft English trees were turning red and gold, and it gave me such heart. Autumn is here - I can be sure of it now. All I'd had to inform me thus far was a subtle change in the texture of the wind, the bloat of the moon. The pine trees along my regular ways aren't good harbingers of seasonal changes.
It has made me think how, when we don't often travel far afield, we may have to depend on subtleties to tell us about the world, just like if we only read one news source. It's possible of course - after all, I knew it was autumn from signs in the sky. I'm sure those who live close to the land can read a hundred little stories of light and grass in their home valley or on their hill which tell them how the weather is changing. But what about the people who don't look out? The busy suburban people driving around in cars, not even keeping a garden. How will they know to start airing blankets and winter sheets? To start stocking their pantry with soup?
Of course, civilisation is set up so they don't have to care. Seems to me that's not a good thing. If you don't know nature, if you barely even look at it (except for the views) how can you love and protect it? How can you truly feel that you are in the world?
Perhaps there lies the key. Perhaps people don't want be in the world. Instead, they want to live in a luminous, comfortable, plastic dream. In it, they can forget more easily about the frightening aspects of being a creature of nature. Our own winters, our own falling leaves.
I love this beautiful song, Wild Mountain Thyme, by Ed Sheeran.