Autumn, A Season of Contradictions

Autumn now has us firmly in its grip. The lazy days of summer already seem but a memory, thoughts are turning towards winter and the holidays. But there’s a lot to enjoy about this month and I don’t want to rush it.  Despite the chill in the evening air and the lashing rain which can beat seemingly relentlessly against the windows the sun, when it makes an appearance here still has some real warmth to it. Enough to make an outdoor lunch a pleasure, when and only when the weather is feeling kind!

But it is a contradictory time of year. The harvest is over, vineyards here are quiet after the hive of activity of grape picking. Everywhere trees are changing colour and the leaves are beginning to fall. Intense greens are giving way to russets and reds, oranges and yellows, the colours of autumn. It’s a time for the gourds to take centre stage, pumpkins and squash.

Yet at the same time our cosmos are still flourishing, providing a constant supply of flowers for the house, I cut fresh bunches every few days and they still keep on giving. The pastel shades of violets and purples, the whites and hot pinks which we took for granted during the summer now seem at odds with their surroundings.

And elsewhere roses are still blooming against sheltered walls.

Lighting the fire in the evening has become a regular feature. A wonderful cosy feel which encourages us to slow down and relax with a glass of wine.

But on a fine day by mid morning when the sun is relatively high we can open the doors and fling wide the windows, letting in as much fresh air as we can. Banishing the scent of woodsmoke for a few hours until dusk returns.

It’s the season for soups, thick country hearty potage, perfectly accompanied by a good crusty baguette or warm toast.

However, our vegetable garden is still producing salad leaves, tomatoes and cucumbers. This makes salads still very much a part of our menu. Although now we add some mozzarella or hot pan fried halloumi with warm freshly made croutons. Just enough to turn the summer staple into something a little more suited to autumn.

Soon the days will be considerably shorter when the clocks change at the end of the month. Soon winter will be upon us, but just for the moment we can enjoy everything autumn has to offer, she may be rather contrary but she’s also a season drenched in tradition. It is the perfect time to reflect and to embrace change. Autumn is a time for letting go of things that have troubled us. In fact everything one reads about autumn reminds us that it is a spiritual season to relinquish unnecessary burdens. Right at the moment I think we are all troubled in these increasingly challenging times. However a brisk walk, breathing in huge lungfuls of fresh air, kicking up leaves, taking a five minute pause and watching them silently fall goes a long way to recharging the batteries. I wish you all a safe and happy week. xx

14 thoughts on “Autumn, A Season of Contradictions

  1. Thank you for letting me take another virtual trip to France, as I won’t be able to make an actual one this year. I’m certainly hoping for next year. I enjoyed all the photos, but the second one of autumn’s bounty was particularly appealing to me. It seems odd to be in Arizona where in October, we’re celebrating daytime temperatures finally falling below 100F and for me, being able to wear long pants, but only when I’m out in the early morning. By next week we may have some days where I can not only wear long pants but may need a jacket. 🙂 Different experiences. But I enjoy the fall photos of other areas even more because of it.

    I hope all is well with all of you. I understand France is experiencing climbing Covid rates again as are many parts of the US. Please stay safe and healthy.


  2. You’ve written a lovely, soulful post. I’ll know I’m a true grown-up when I can experience Autumn – that glorious, in-between season — accepting it on its own terms, instead of the harbinger of colder, barer times…
    I like your photos too. We haven’t lit a fire in the grate yet, but cold weather beckons…
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Seasonal changes are meaningful times to pause and try to abandon the concerns of the past whilst embracing the future. We do not have clear distinctions between seasons, so I am enjoying your autumnal changes in colour.

  4. Gentle Signora
    Che bellissimo pensiero, pacato rilassante, deliziosamente accompagnato da belle foto. Ho scoperto la sua persona tramite Cindy H. Grazie buona settimana.

  5. Susan, is that really you, talking here? Why am I asking? I start with this:
    The lazy days of summer already seem but a memory…. I find it difficult to see you and ‘lazy days’ in one sentence. You’re always gardening, cooking, cleaning, shopping and walking, driving, writing, always in communication, be it in person, by phone, all those social apps, or for your faithful readers….. you still have a daily harvest from your garden, you’re baking and feeding, hoarding up your chicks, dogs and cat(s), selling from your shop, being with Roddy when you’re not with guests…. while I am already for weeks just lazying around, doing much of nothing, reading, writing, drinking wine and tea – and feeling really, really lazy.
    I do wish you and yours a truly good October week too – I still have some serious numbers of bulbs to plant, only I can’t get good potting compost (and many of my for CH intented planters are staying in quarantine in France!) any longer, as all the local shops have returned their stock to their suppliers…. didn’t realise that was necessary, having had my own soil and ground for so many, many years.

  6. I’ve been fortunate to have discovered your blog a few years ago and continue to enjoy your seeing your lovely part of the world through it. I love Autumn too and find it passes too quickly to winter. So yes lets enjoy it while we can.

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