First day of winter. I’m here in a north-facing room – in front of the heater! – looking out of the window, and the sun is shining. There are still lots of coloured leaves on the fruit trees in the garden and as they catch the light, they glow. And there must be tasty things – insects, gum blossoms? – around, because the crimson rosellas, with their distinctive calls, are swooping down and settling for a bit and then flying off again. The house is calm; today I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything or be anyone. Deep breath. Ah.
It may be the time of year, or perhaps it’s because I’ve just had a significant birthday, but I’m having all these elegaic thoughts. Best expressed, I think, by Sonnet 73.
What time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, nor none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which is was nourished by.
This thous perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Actually, whoa there! Maybe not that elegaic. I’m only 60, after all. “Ere long” will be, I hope, a very very long time. There are places to go, things to do, and after all, I have to get value from my Senior’s Card.
…and there are all those leaves to rake up, and put in the compost, so the cycle continues.