Yesterday when I arrived at the allotment to check on things after work, a carpet of yellowed leaves coated the ground beneath my car wheels where I park. Just inside the gate, the wood of its topmost bar warmed to the touch by low sun, shards of cobnuts littered the sparse grass. Showers have recently doused the heatwave, but this morning the sun has returned to set their remnants sparking. Tomorrow is the first day of August. In the old celtic calendars, and for many folks who still follow ‘the old ways’, this time is known as Lammas; a time of harvest and of transition. The Sun still rules high in the sky, but the corn is beginning to bow. Some days autumn will hitch a lift on the harvest wagons, or you might turn as you walk the hedgerow line, sensing his presence behind you.
A Poem for the end of July:
I love Autumn,
with his cloak of mellow mists and subtle perfume of smoke and rain-damp leaves;
the rustle of the browning bracken,
the shimmer of bronze, russet and green on pheasant feathers,
and the delight of collecting fruit.
But Lady Summer there is no hurry; please, stay awhile.
Do not rush.
Mingle among the soft rose petals and hum in tune with the bees in the lavender by the garden path.
Laze for an afternoon by the side of the lake, an audience for the golden insects there, that dance their ballet in pools of light.
Turn fluttering white butterflies to fairies in children’s heads and shady woodland to adventurous lands.
Allow us each day a few more hours of playful light after work or school, between teatime and bed.
Come with us now, tomorrow too, to lie in meadowland, with tassel-topped grasses waving high above our heads, tracing our fortune in the shapes we spot in scudding clouds.
I look forward to Autumn, hir fruits and morning chill, but for now Lady Summer, there is no hurry.
Do not rush.