23 October 2013

Turning Inward

The days are full of bright sun and blue skies, but there is a chill in the air. The gardens are dry and brittle, with fallen seed heads underfoot. Honey colored leaves, and their russet hued cousins, are scattered over the garden beds, forming a gold and persimmon carpet over the wilted greenery. There is still much to do to ready them for winter, with fewer hours each day to accomplish it all.

And so on Saturday and Sunday I shall be collecting sundials and sun catchers and wind chimes and packing them safely away in the garden shed; putting away all the garden chairs and small tables; divesting trellises of their dead vines, and removing frost-bitten annuals from their pots. Occasionally throughout the Autumn a sunny day might find me under the arbor, drinking in the sun along with my tea, wrapped in a sweater as I read. But within the month my time outdoors will most likely end and there will be a turning inward.

Already I feel the call of hearth and reading chair, devouring no fewer than five books within the last two weeks alone: The Rathbones, The Bookman's Tale, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Kashmir Shawl.  And now Remarkable Creatures and a biography of Henry James—nearly triple the size of any of his weighty novels—are near at hand, with bookmarks peering at me seductively from within their pages.

Balls of yarn have been summoned from various drawers, cupboards and baskets. One night soon I will sit and decide on all the socks, hats, scarves, mittens, and shawls I hope to finish for Christmas and winter birthdays. Lists will be made, noting what color is best for each friend or loved one, and which hand wrought gifts they may have received in the past. It will take time to finish them all, but there are many quiet "indoor" weeks ahead in which to labor.

With the onset of cold, the broken tree branches and encroaching saplings have been taken down where needed and sunny days are spent with a saw and clippers, turning them into kindling and firewood.  Potted herbs have come indoors to winter over in the kitchen.  Storm windows have been pulled down, and sheer panels now cover panes that were bare throughout the summer.  Shawls have been drawn from the blanket closet, to place on chairs and sofas. It won't be long, I'm sure, before the first fire will be set on the grate. Scones will be baked, tea will be made, and neighborly conversation will take place in chairs by the hearth, our garden parasol days ended for another year.

Sing a song of seasons.
Something bright in all.
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall.
— Robt. Louis Stevenson


  1. This is such a deliciously evocative post Haworth!
    Even though it is Spring here with Summer beckoning....................
    I almost wish I could skip straight through to Autumn/Winter again.
    The cooler months are all about comfort and cosiness and I can think of nothing nicer than sitting by the fire, doing some stitching or reading a good book!

    You are a voracious reader!!!!!!!
    It seems to take me forever to read a book - I'm just too tired when I finally climb the stairs in the evening - only a page or three are read.
    Daytime hours are spent in the garden or embroidering my last granddaughters Christmas stocking!!!
    I've made a note of your book titles - I loved 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" but that's the only one I've read.

    Enjoy your weekend and thank you so much for popping in to say hello!


  2. Thank you so much, Shane! I think the "outer" seasons (Autumn and Spring) are my favorites, albeit for entirely different reasons. And I do look forward to the coziness and settling in that comes with these colder months. I have just finished reading "Remarkable Creatures"... it was wonderful and I highly recommend it. It had that same sense of small village life that the Guernsey book had. But I *must* stop reading and start knitting or I'll have no gifts to hand out at Christmas time! I haven't embroidered in years. Best of luck finishing the stocking!