September

September

This time I’m relishing September’s late summer reverie of golden glory with the first hints of autumn; thinking of those Michaelmas Angels; finding great wisdom in Alice in Wonderland and expecting some surprises.

September wears late summer’s smile.  A sense of fruitful completion prevails. Summer’s heat has cooled, she is more relaxed now. The hedgerow larder is full, the harvests gathered in, farmers and gardeners satisfied.  We relax into autumn’s peaceful arrival.  A time of quiet pause, refreshment and celebration.

 Everything is ‘poised and still, holding its breath in the way that only happens in early autumn. It’s a dream time’ Anna Pavord (Landskipping)

Cheerful mix of annual flowers in sunshine
A colourful guard of honour at the front door

September

Change is in the air. Now there are softer September skies, cooler nights as we move quietly into many people’s favourite autumn season. But summer seems reluctant to leave. William Shakespeare complained in his sonnet that ‘summer’s sun hath too short a lease‘. But we are pleased that, for the time being, it appears to have had a new ‘lease’ of life in an ‘Indian summer’. Long may this ‘lease’ last!

Having looked up
From the day’s chores, pause a minute,
Let the mind take its photograph
Of the bright scene, something to wear
Against the heart in the long cold
.”
From the poem ‘A Day in Autumn’ by  the Welsh poet R.S. Thomas

Some September splendour out of the window ‘as something to wear against the heart in the long cold‘ when it eventually comes.

 A surprise late brood of baby blue tits wait impatiently for their turn at the feeders after the amusing greenfinches have had their fill. Opportunistic wood pigeons below wait hungrily for the sunflower husks as they fall to the ground. Greenfinches are such untidy feeders! No swallows here, has anyone seen them this summer? No sounds yet of migrants on their way south either. Can anyone report hearing them?

Insect on golden yellow sunflower

Outside the front door there is the dependable warmth and vibrant colour of the late summer annuals. True to form they show off and catch the attention of busy insects (above photo) and put a smile on our faces at this final flourish of late glory. The best kept till last. These irresistible Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’ flowers live up to their name!

A bowl of ripe damsons
Damsons from our small tree

Michaelmas

September 29th is Michael and All Angels Day. This is the season of Michaelmas, the start of Michaelmas Term and the traditional beginning of the farming year. For me it also means the flowering of the delightful sky blue michaelmas daisies.

michaelmas daisies in September

I always value this annual reminder of the unseen spiritual world beyond us, yet every now and then appearing in our own small and too self-centred worlds. Glimpses of something more, new worlds yet undiscovered. 

Angels have been busy, sometimes clearly noticed, but more often ‘angels unawares‘. I think one day we will be amazed to realize what they have been doing in this world. Every encounter with angels is an encounter with grace. Angels are God’s ‘ministering spirits‘.  (Hebrews 1:13)

Alice’s wisdom in Wonderland

“The supreme joy of childhood is the expectation that gloriously unlikely things are likely to happen at any moment.” 

From ‘The Herb of Grace’ by Elizabeth Gouge.

It was the same for Alice whose wonderful experiences in her imagined ‘Wonderland’ have intrigued children for 150 years.

  “For you see so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately that Alice had begun  to think that very few things indeed were really impossible”

But in the real world even more wonderful things can happen. Some of it the work of angels. All because God is the ‘God of Surprises’.

With God all things are possible and he is good. Watch out for those angels!

Collection of plants in pots ready for planting
September – is a good month for planting perennials

(see my previous’ Michaelmas’ post)

Join me next time for – ‘Secrets of the Meadow Gateway’

     

          

9 thoughts on “September

      1. You are kind, Richard, to think like that. I live in a flat on the first floor of an old house and have access to a flat roof, with waterside views. My landlady was happy for me to clear all the old rubbish away and my mum gifted me some light pots and plants. I am blessed with my own little garden out there now, with a dish of fresh water for the birds. x

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      2. We use pots and tubs a lot here. They’re so easily moved out of the limelight when the show is over.You can get a lot in a small space with them. I will soon be planting spring bulbs in ours. Enjoy yours and your great views.

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  1. What colour you have in your garden, Richard! I have lost many plants this year in the drought and I will have to start again next year if I am granted the time.
    We have only seen swallows flying over the garden a couple of times this year. Until two years ago they were everywhere! No winter visitors yet.

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  2. You have beautifully vibrant flowers for the move into autumn Richard, which maybe makes up a little for the less colourful trees (at the moment). Autumn has definitely arrived for us now. I’ve seen few swallows this year, probably no more than half a dozen.

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    1. Every time I go out of the front door I’m amazed at the late show that comes from a few packets of seed of annual flowers. Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’ is a stunner! I wonder how good the autumn leaves will be this year? Many seem to have fallen already. I do miss the swallows, swifts and house martins. A serious loss.

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