Sunday, 2 November 2008


(22nd – 23rd September)

Now the days turn colder and we feel as though we need to build a warm nest and curl up in it even though we are not hibernating animals. The Autumnal Equinox is a time of balance when the days will begin to lose their power to the dominion of the night. We give thanks for the harvest and say goodbye to the strength of the sun. From now on the days will get shorter and preparations need to be made for the coming winter.

The harvest of the hedgerows is ready for picking; crab apple, blackberries (until the end of September), elderberries and rowan, rose hips, nuts, plums and sloes. What a good opportunity to gather the wild harvest and make preserves and potions for the months to come. A favourite of ours is sloe gin, and for the children the first blackberry pie is always a real treat.

Autumn can be a time for clearing out again, although in our house it tends to be a time for collecting dried leaves, conkers and nuts to make things and decorate the house with! One year we stayed with a Jewish friend of ours who told us of the wonders of mushroom picking. It is always good to use the seasons to help us clear the clutter that accumulates so easily – a neglected drawer or cupboard, unfinished projects and things that we will never complete. Let the season help you to be part of the great pattern, joining those who farm the land as we prepare for winter with an ordered and wholesome living space.

The birds are not forgotten either. Seeds can be collected to feed them through the barren months when food in the wild is hard to find.

This is a time for balancing games, for gatherings that remind us of the natural balance and interdependence of male and female. Autumn is also a time of gathering, not just the bounty of the countryside but of our own achievements.

In the other gardens

And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
the grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all,
Flowers in the summer
Fires in the fall!

‘Autumn Fires’ by Robert Louis Stevenson

No comments: