And just like that, we find ourselves back on the estate after a long holiday to Japan, where we joined the crowds to find the best spot to view the beauty of koyo – the scarlet, gold and cinnamon leaves. Lescure puts on a good show of colour too, although this autumn has been unusually mild if very windy and wet, less than ideal conditions for allowing nature to orchestrate its magic. Still, there’s so much beauty to behold in this twilight season: the morning mist, the softening of the sunlight under swirls of clouds, the crunch underfoot of leaves as we go for a walk, the smells of wild mushrooms that appear from nowhere.
We enthusiastically tackle a long list of autumn chores. Thomas, all smiles because there’s nothing he enjoys more than fixing things, gets up on the woodshed roof for reparations. We inspect the grounds after the first big storm, we tidy the mess of downed trees and branches, we make plans to introduce new shrubs and plants. And we grind apples for cider, foolheartedly thinking the orchard’s nectar will taste even better than last year’s.
But no matter how hard I work to keep the blues away, melancholy comes knocking. The feeling is not entirely unwelcome. Darkness is an old friend, reassuringly earthy and intent on bringing me closer to my soul. Thomas knows the drill: each day has a log fire at the end of it, so my moody buddy and I can cozy up by the flames and reflect on life. Autumn shows me how beautiful it is to let things go in order to prepare for a fresh start, and once I embrace that wise old saying, I find this season as full of promise as is spring, just a lot more tearful.