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)
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
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?
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!
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.
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!
Join me next time for – ‘Secrets of the Meadow Gateway’