WHAT a wonderfully soothing, gloriously reassuring “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” we are enjoying right now.
The trees around us, as they shed their leaves, look magnificent, either standing alone or as part of woodlands framed in golds and umbers, carpeted more thickly every day with the detritus of a fading season. There is a quiet warmth about the trees, which belies that they are harbingers of a cold, less colourful season, winter, which is far more disdainful.
John Keats wrote those wonderfully evocative fruitfulness lines in 1819, but, in a letter from Winchester that September, he expanded: “How beautiful the season is now. How fine the air — a temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking, chaste weather — Dian skies. I never liked stubble-fields so much as now — aye, better than chilly green of the Spring. Somehow, a stubble plain looks warm, in the same way that some pictures look warm. This struck me so much in my Sunday’s walk that I composed upon it.” We may not be able to express it as beautifully as Keats, but, by just looking around us, we can enjoy this golden autumn every bit as much.
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