Autumn at last, once more into the wild blue. The skies above us are the vault of heaven, in a colour against which all other shades of blue are judged. The ocean reflects the sky, and is better for it: when the clouds drift overhead, they fall underfoot too. Even the sparrows are bless├ęd, on the bare branches of April. The evening sun looks down on us like the hazel eye of God.

It is time for gloves and scarves and mittens. It is time for ripe brown pears and roasted hazelnuts in a wooden bowl. It is time for warm milk with vanilla and dark chocolate with oranges. It is time for the rich darkness of a rainy fall evening. It is time for writing in notebooks with cheap black pens and writing in the frost on train windows.

There will be warm chicken soup with fresh vegetables; there will be icicles on the eaves that melt in your hands; there will be a red blush in your cheeks from the chill autumn air; there will be brooding pigeons roosting in their sheltered nests; there will be red leaves piled in the gutters and sinking darkly into puddles; he will have the taste of warm ripe fruit in his mouth; there will be the sound of a train in the distance; there will be all this, and more....

In the evening, look out across the village at the red rooftops and see the thin tendrils of smoke that rise from brick chimneys. Close your eyes as the sun settles into night. Hear a bird singing suddenly in an empty tree and fading to silence. The faint traces of a woodfire, burning, and snow on the wind - these are the scents of your childhood.

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