Year of Grace, Day 51. My favourite season

There is something about this time of the year — autumn –that is intensely moving. Perhaps it’s because nature and all creation are getting ready to rest for a while and they’re giving us a show to remember them by – their last hurrah, as it were, for this year.

For a few, like the lovely viburnum tree that used to grace the path to the front door, it was a sad final hurrah last year, much as I had suspected because it displayed its most magnificent colours. It must have exhausted itself with such tremendous effort. I was reluctant to cut it down when it had failed to leaf out in spring — its branches and trunk had an arresting and stark beauty, even bereft of leaves and flowers. I thought, half-heartedly, that it might just revive, given enough encouragement. To my regret it didn’t.

My Viburnum's last hurrah

My Viburnum’s last hurrah

At this time of year, leaves show such a spectacular range of colours — finally exposed to our view as chlorophyll returns to the roots to be stored over winter. Mother Nature knows not to throw such valuable stuff away. There in the roots it lies waiting to be called out in the spring. A marvelous cycle of life and rejuvenation.

In the back garden, the birches in the woods behind are strikingly orange in the sun, and their white trunks are displayed to great advantage. The hazels, both the contorted one and the standard one, are turning yellow. Just near the hazel hedge, a European spindle tree, a Euonymus, has had red leaves for some time now and with its pinky-red and orange berries (what a combination!), it is truly a sight. The nasturtiums, called Kapuchinkresse (monk’s cress) in German, are still going strong. I might have some time to pickle a few buds and seeds to spice up my salads in the winter.

There is a Japanese folk song about the seasons – Shiki no Uta, 四季の歌 — that I remember from my university years in Tokyo, and the words come to me now.

Aki wo aisuru hito wa

Kokoro fukaki hito  心深き人

Ai wo kataru Haine no youna   愛を語るハイネのような

Boku no koibito.  僕の恋人。

One who loves autumn

Is a person with a deep heart

Just like (the poet) Heine who speaks of love —

My beloved.

Birches and hazels

My view of birches and hazels in the sun, and just peeping to the right above a box tree, a euonymus (European spindle) tree.


3 thoughts on “Year of Grace, Day 51. My favourite season

  1. I never loved Fall as the Americans call it … everything falls.!…..
    Autumn is for me like Old Age while Winter is the waiting room to Heaven. I used to love the colours displayed in our valley, in Querbes in October but November will always remain “le mois des Morts” as for all Saints the whole of France visits their Dead Families with chrysanthemums…..I used to detest that flower for so many years….Now that they bloom in my garden in November I love them to bits…..but still dislike them in pots…..
    Maybe that the season we are born in influences our judgement and our like and dislike….I know that when we were living in the Southern hemisphere my dislike for November wasn’t there…….
    Bon anniversaire Jeanne pour demain!


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