Monday, 7 September 2015

September and October are my favourite months. I love the cool, crisp mornings, gentle twilight and the soft mist that gives way, if we are lucky, to bright sunny days.  The heat of summer is just fading, the light lessening to a soft gold glow and that early morning and evening air sends an olfactory message to the deepest part of our human psyche that winter is on its way.  The harvest is now in and the time is right for gathering the natural bounty from hedgerows and orchards to make jams, preserves or just feast upon straight from the tree or bramble.  We are lucky enough here to have a small, community orchard where you can find lots of different apple varieties, plums and pears and if you know the secret location of, a walnut tree. Brambles grow around the edge and the hedges are drooping under the weight of indigo blue damsons.  Butterflys were evident yesterday, we spotted a Red Admiral and a tiny blue one skittering amongst the wild grasses and others which flitted about our heads as we picked.
Greengages and damsons

the sweet, highly perfumed pears were picked, made into pear and almond crumble and eaten within two hours.  If I say so myself, really yummy.

We are lucky enough to have a Hazelnut tree at the bottom of our garden and this year it has had a bumper crop.  We did find recently, a massive horde of nut shells under the old shed we took down which probably explains why the nut harvest has been poor over the last couple of years - a wee mouse has been feasting and hiding them under the base of hubby's shed!  Leah and I removed the husks and just have to shell them and make into hazelnut fudge brownies (Elizabeth Luard's recipe)
Whilst I love this time of year, it also leaves me with a slight melancholic feeling, a sadness that I can't quite explain.  Its not mourning the passing of summer as I love winter but it is a time of reflection for me and also a time of new beginnings.  September is usually the time I make big changes in my life,. new job etc and also a time to reconnect with my spiritual beliefs.  Brought up a Christian then discovered Wicca in my early 20's or should I say Wicca found me, studied native American shamanistic practices and explored the New Age movement and read dozens of books on self help, crystals, meditation but then drifted away from this with the birth of my first child (now 20).  Lately, having read Lynn Baron's beautiful blog, Sea Angels, I have reconnected with the old religion as Lynn touches on the Wiccan teachings in a gentle and honourable way.  Funny co-incidence when on a recent day out with hubby, in a second hand bookshop, there staring right at me were two books; Scott Cunningham Wicca; A guide for Sole Practitioners and a book on Wicca by Vivian Crowley.  I was lucky enough to meet Vivian a few years ago at a talk and book signing evening.  She is an amazing, beautiful woman who shares her beliefs in a captivating way and has written many books on the religion.  Belonging to a coven does not appeal anymore, but to honour the natural world in all its beauty and terrible wildness, the turning of the seasonal wheel and to receive the blessing of the goddess, puts my heart and soul at ease.

These autumn evenings are just right for a bit of sewing, below is a scarf I'm working on which started it's life as a shirt.  Bought in a charity shop (where else?) it's been deconstructed and reworked with patches, stitches and a little magic sprinkled in too.  Trying to achieve that Japanese boro look but not quite up to Kapital Clothing's standards. ha ha....
Will form part of my stall at the Burnham Christmas market in December.
Thank you for stopping by, I welcome your comments so please feel free to leave me some.  Love to all you hedgerow gathers and makers of homemade delights.  Now where did I put that jam pan .....

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