Estivation

Winter Today the house feels like home again: a place I recognise and know.  A place without anything to hide but the spiders trying to build tangled webs  across every corner of my ceilings.

The weather seems bewildered: it is at once blustery and wet, while also unnecessarily warm until nightfall when the temperature plummets and cosy socks and snuggly blankets are called for if we are to resist the call of hot radiators and an early night. But there is no doubt that this is Autumn - a season that has won the battle over the persuasive charms of the Indian Summer and is allowing the leaves to fall much earlier than usual, though the garden is still abundant with peach roses and white geranium.

Inside the filtered light of this new season casts comfortable sun across this mole hole of a perpetually dark room.  It is a much kinder light than that cast by summer: a veil I am happy to see my life through. I burn cinnamon and boil a romanesco caulifilower to scrumptious softness, just right for an autumnal lunch, mashed with garlic and sprinkled with parmesan and black pepper. I eat while Kenny Rogers serenades me, a book full of overly intimate truth propped in front of me and a glass cup full of mint tea at my side to sip.

As far as the seasons go, estivation is the very opposite of hibernation. A slowing down of the body and self in summer, only to come alive again when the weather turns cold. I used to think that I looked forward to Autumn because I looked forward to hibernation: to being allowed to close the door on the world and bury myself in casserole and Downton Abbey: but it isn't true.

I look forward to Autumn because mine is an Autumnal life, a Wintered soul.

In the Summer I am a snail, estivating so that I can save my self: stay alive when I am nothing but uncomfortable with the chaos of sleepless nights and hot summer days, the obligation to be sociable when constant chatter and company wrings me out and leaves me flopped. My physical self goes into battle with my emotional, creative self and nothing seems straight forward, the sun creating possibilites I am usually happy to ignore, but as August tumbles into September, I feel myself being reborn again again: laughing more and growling less, sensing permission granted by the season to sit my with silly cat asleep in my apron pocket and do nothing more than write, longhand in a leather bound, mahogany colored journal. The thirst of Summer gone and the deep satisfaction of contentment settling in my stomach.

Mine is an Autumnal life and today, even the house seems to breathing a sigh of something like relief...

Welcome to Autumn Housekeepers.

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