I pity the leaf-man. He’s coming today and it’ll look as though no one has cleared a single leaf since he came last. They fall while I write, they fall while I eat, they fall while I sleep, and I know why autumn in America is called the fall. It’s that time of the year when they fall all the time. Big ones, little ones, wet ones, and those crisp, dry ones – rare this year. Some are pretty to begin with, and occasionally crunchy under your feet.
But that’s autumn, and bronze leaves, on and off the trees, are an essential part of the English landscape – so stunning at the moment. They’re like a crucial paint colour an artist uses as a background for a painting. Without them the countryside would be dull and lifeless.
Autumn heralds winter, with its frosts, bare, stark trees and bushes, and empty fields. Long walks on crunchy frozen ground, bracing, wrap-up well weather, and roaring log fires in country pubs. Maybe snow even?
And so the seasons roll on, one ends, another starts – each bringing changing weather and landscapes, but also hope. Hope in the newness of the unknown. Hope, like now, of a good and happy Christmas, hope, in the spring, of a warm summer. Hope that with the change of the season, life will be better and bring new happiness, the end to conflicts, and better lives for those in need.
I once lived in a country without seasons, where every day was the same. It was warm – well hot – but boring, and after a while there seemed no hope of a different tomorrow.
Like Vivaldi, I couldn’t live without the four seasons.