Last Sunday of September

It’s the last Sunday of September. I don’t know where all the time has gone! It seemed like summer was stretching forward, indefinitely, with promises of adventures yet to come…! It is always somewhat forlornly that one thinks back of all those beautiful summer eves that were spent doing nothing at all, since there was another day just another peaceful sleep away.

September is when Autumn inches forward and somehow, every year, manages to catch you by surprise. This year’s September has been wonderfully sunny, and this weekend was no exception. Having lingered around most of the morning, and having had a traditional Swedish pancake lunch (fried in butter until golden, and served with a sprinkle of sugar on top), I ventured out into the sunshine.

Following winding footpaths across fields and through villages, I found myself full of energy — making a brisk September countryside walk the perfect end to the week.

The local farm had some gorgeous sunflowers shining in the afternoon sun, and I noticed that the walnut trees in the background were full of fruit. I’ve been living in the UK for six years, to the week,  but I’m still childishly fascinated by the ‘exotic’ trees and plants that thrive in English soil.

My walk reached its end in a local village, where I had a look around before turning back. Walking around the not-yet familiar streets and pedestrian footpaths, I had a feeling of having arrived somewhere, even if it wasn’t the plan. Sometimes such things just happen, with no foresight to guide the way. To me, it just added to the feeling of adventure.

The local church had organ music streaming through it’s open doors, adding to a feeling of familiarity. Village people were comings or an evening prayer, tracing the path from their own dwellings onto that of the church.  Though not religious myself, I do appreciate the sense of community that a shared ritual such as Holy Day worship must bring. To me, organ music brings back memories of the last day of school, and all the excitement of freedom soon to be had.

I must remember for next year to make better use of the summer evening light, for it is gone so fast. September is when Autumn inches in on you,when days grow shorter, and when evening shadows grow longer, no matter how fast you walk.

Heading homewards, I brushed against blackberries, regretting not having brought a bag to collect them in. I remember an evening with a fiend, when I filled my hands with foraged berries till I could hold no more,, and returned home to make delicious crumble. Instead, I listened to chickens cooing, and admired the gilded hills in the sunset distance, all the while wondering what’s meant to be done with all the sloes.

It is very quiet over the fields in the early evening, although the cry of a gull from the calm lake can be heard over the hedgerows. Getting closer, I could see rabbits bounding, bright cottontails in the grass. A fox ran past, chasing them, but more like a farmer shoos his sheep than a predator stalking its prey. A few foraged apples that had found their way into my pockets found a purpose as a stranger’s gift to a glossy, brown horse.