Autumn has always been my favourite time of the year.
A sudden awareness of changes. Awareness of the slow, internal movements of the earth. Of time.
Lovely things have been appearing on our table.
Chestnuts collected by my younger son on the way home from his soccer game.
A last harvest of garlic brought for us from a relative's mother's garden in Bosnia.
Apples given to us by a neighbour from her allotment nearby.
I find that I read more at this time of the year. Curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea.
I've just finished an inspiring biography written by Charlotte Gray. "Sisters in the Wilderness: the Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Trail" covers the lives of two self confessed bluestocking sisters from England who decide - at the urging of their husbands who have a misguided hope for a better life financially - to emigrate to the backwoods of Canada in 1832.
Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill (nee Strickland) in spite of being completely unprepared for the rough, hands on life of pioneers in the Canadian bush, did manage to carve out a lives there, though very modest and not always comfortable ones. They kept homes, raised families, and in spite of hardship after hardship (including loosing their homes to fire, the deaths of children, and at times a lack of any financial means), always managed to find the time, energy, and ideas for their writing, which was published on both sides of the Atlantic.
As someone who is trying to juggle many of the same things - though under much more comfortable and less adverse circumstances - I found the spirit and will of these two women an incredible (and perhaps timely) inspiration.
And so, to work.
This is also the time of year when I find myself wanting to wrap up unfinished projects. Especially after the kick-in-the-butt that book gave me. I took over the living room floor once again and got to work finishing my Spitalfields collage series.
This lady's line is: "She collected shell after shell - ever searching for the one that would sing her the sea."
And I finally decided what to do with this fellow. "Page after midnight page saw the feverish scribbles of his laudanum dreams."
There's one more lady, and she's just about finished.
Since there's no chance of my getting back to London in the near future, so I shall have to find a source here for old photos. I don't like the idea of buying them on-line. It's much more fun to walk through a market and riffle through musty shoe boxes of old photos looking for ones which speak to me.
Seems an Autumn thing to do.
Perfect at this time of passages and of ghosts.