'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' -Jo Shapcott [review of Greyhound Night Service]

This whole world is ours

This photo is one of my remarkable things from yesterday: a paint splodge on the pavement but I just couldn't stop staring at it! This morning's remarkable thing is the sound of one of my cats meowing desperately to go out into the pouring rain.

I woke this morning into a dimly lit room due to the haze of rain outside. Nearly 10am now and it's no brighter. Last night on my drive home at 6, I noticed the sky was nearly dark already, and I thought about autumn. How we're in it already, even though it's already begun to feel like winter here (a hard frost or two will snap you out of an autumn reverie quite quickly). On the drive back into the beautiful bluey-grey evening (horizontal rain too) I realised that even a week ago I may not have been ready for this. May not have been ready to feel how close winter is now. But last night I felt, yes, okay, I am readying myself for this. And I do feel nearly ready to snuggle in, draw the curtains earlier, light a fire, eat warm soup and watch some excellent films. I'm nearly ready for shorter days. And I do love the dark evenings with the wind rushing outside. Hibernation time. And this year it's different.

For the past few years this period of hibernation has always brought a sadness with it. Once I'd get to this time of the year, something in me turned inward and looked back. I'm sure it was because the winter has often held loss for me. But this year I feel I'm looking forward; I'm entering into the season differently. All year I have been acutely aware of transition, first that of springtime to summer and now autumn to winter. It feels like making new ground, rediscovering what it feels like to be in the present moment, in this world and in myself as the seasons change.

On half-term week at the moment. And this means a bit more free time to play. Sunday/Monday I spent that time with a friend as together we made winter-ready by cooking up a batch of chutney. We spent the day chopping and peeling and chatting and making bread and eating...

And nearly before we knew it we had a steaming vat of apple and onion chutney. The whole kitchen (and later my hair and clothes) smelled of onion and sweetness. And when the day was done I whisked back out into the cold air with my still-hot jars and drove home through the forest. It was a day filled with remarkable things and heaps of things I am grateful for.

good friends
a sturdy car in which to drive myself
less rush-hour traffic than usual
glowing horizon of dusk