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Abundant autumn: gather, feast and light

The summer has slipped by whilst I wasn’t paying attention.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I noticed the sloes ripening on the bridleway, and the apple trees bending under the weight of fruit. The blazing late season sunshine at the start of the month made the morning when I stood in the garden just after sunrise with my breath showing in huffs of vapour all the more unexpected.

It is with surprise that I looked at the calendar and realised that the equinox had quietly arrived marking the end of a work hiatus that had inadvertently stretched for more than a month.

There is much to keep you from your desk at this time of the year. Autumn carries an air of abundance, from the cobnuts scattering the ground to the berry riches of the hedgerow. A harmonious balance exists between the need to be outside in the crisp yet warm sunshine and the longing to nest indoors as the evenings grow darker. Not yet do the frequent rain storms chill you to the bone, nor are the mornings too shrouded in darkness to make rising arduous. 

I need to shake off the desire to creep out at dawn to witness the morning fog lift to reveal sparkling spider webs or linger when the light turns a regular shortcut through the wood into something magical.

Is there a word for procrastination by nature or should I claim it as some act of mindfulness when in fact there is not much thought in it at all? All I do know is that I need to get some actual work done.

Ways to celebrate the autumn equinox

Feast

Feast

Inspiration is easy at this time of the year with autumn treasures like squash, beetroot and chard as well as apples and blackberries. Two of my favourite recipes that are perfect for September are this Blackberry and Cinnamon Cake by Dan Lepard and this Riverford squash and bean chilli.

Gather

Gather

On my desk are three conkers I found on my way to work last week, still nestling in their spiky cases beside a pine cone and lichen covered twig that I picked up on a dog walk, whilst in the kitchen is a bucket of apples waiting to be transformed into pies, chutney or cider. Arrange your Autumn treasures where they can bring you joy.

Llight

Light

Even if you are not a fan of the colder months, you can find pleasure in creating a cosy haven from the encroaching darkness. Light candles to mark this seasonal shift, pure beeswax for a warm glow or those scented with evocative essential oils like cedarwood, frankincense or geranium.