Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness

There is just something about this glorious Autumn weather that makes me want to don a Fair Isle sweater and go stomping off into the forest, all on my own. I want to crunch and kick my way through mountains of scarlet leaves and tilt my face to the golden sun as it trickles down through the canopy of oaks and beeches. I want to smell wood smoke on the wind, and let it take me down sweet winding paths of nostalgia, the echos of my childhood self laughing ahead of me as we go. I want to stop as many times as I like to smile at the red squirrels that bound across my path and to talk out loud to the little robin that sings so sweetly by the riverbank.

As the leaves fall and the woods enter their honeyed decay, I find my creative self blooming within me like the tendrils of spring. The heady summer nights give way to candles and cashmere, and my fingers are ever scented with clementines. No longer driven out by the oppressive heat and the beckoning finger of late-night jazz and whiskey, my Autumn evenings become filled with reading, writing, poetry and crafts. What a gorgeous season it is, heralding the return of the artistic self.

To keep your hearts glowing as the nights grow cold, here is my favourite Autumn poem by the wonderful John Keats. Best recited aloud while cycling past orchards and fields brimming with pumpkins and gourds.

Ode To Autumn, John Keats 1820

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
   Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.