Had a little chat about the seasons yesterday, how autumn kills the summer with ‘the softest kiss’. Not my words, far too evocative and poetic, but apt. Autumn is beautiful, despite working towards death, as the leaves speed towards their fall. For many, autumn is their favourite season, a time to hunker down and recalibrate, an opportunity for hygge. Time to hide away, introverted, with the new tv dramas always held back until now. I’m a morning person, so waking to find the world black at 6 am sets my body clock askew. Normally, and only a month ago, I’d be up and about, walking my dogs outside at this hour, enlivened by the light. 6.20, and to the east the sky begins to lighten, though we remain shrouded by cloud.

Does anyone ever choose winter as their favourite season? Well, we all wax lyrical about fresh snow until it inhibits us from doing what we want, going where we please. We talk of home, a raging fire, comfort food and warmth. Which for those of us with homes and money to heat them is probably right. However, come November I’m acutely aware of hunkering down for months of grey, mist, dismal. My mood changes. I struggle to retain my positivity of the rest of the year. The grey of winter is incessant. More rain, more cold, more sweaters, boots, coats. Awaiting (wishing my life away) spring, the soft green shoots indicating life not death. Last winter went into spring, with frozen rain and snow in March. It felt wrong. Four months of winter is sufficient.

Spring. Maybe my Aries soul simply loves the idea of regeneration and rejuvenation but spring is my favourite. Spring, when wintry white snowdrops bravely previously peeped above the parapet yet still remain, heads bowed in case of a weather assault. Crocuses add vibrancy, pale primroses, that most understated flower, spread, daffodils trumpet. All the nourishment in the bulbs stored over winter bursts into colourful flower, bringing fresh life and hope, optimism, joy. The hedges sprout green while the birds joyously start singing again. The dawn chorus is low during winter, as if they are saving their energy. They’re back bursting into the most beautiful thankful song. Beaches are still empty but warm enough for morning walks. Times, they are a changing, and we are thankful for that.

Summer is nature’s bounty gone berserk. It is full on, in your face. If summer was a person, she would wear gold. The lanes grow narrow as the hedges spread, the ground dries in the sun. For the first time there is no moist mud on the roads. The days are long, the sun feeding the solar panels, as the grass sprints into life, along with the weeds. Blue skies and the sun on our faces brings us alive, energised, craving the outdoors, the fresh air, as we drop clothes and worship the sun with our skin. Magnificent sunsets mark the season.

Month by month …

September berries in the hedgerows

October on a grey day, looking out to Lundy.

A November sunset. Pink sky.

December sea – grey

January, when the sky can still be beautiful.

February as the snowdrops appear

March, spring hyacinths with their intense scent.

April daffodils even in the north!

May. Fifty shades of green.

June. Wildflowers.

July before the 6 weeks school holidays!

August. Doesn’t take too long to escape the crowds.

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