"Season of mists"
I find autumn to be a deeply satisfactory season. Such used not to be the case, when I was young, but now that I have completed my 'three score years and ten' and am enjoying these supernumerary years, it seems different.
The leaves turn and fall, the trees drip gently, the fallen apples rot, the unpicked beans dry and rattle in their pods. Things are tidying themselves up for the long sleep. In my early twenties, the golden days of autumn were just as beautiful on the banks of the Cherwell as here on the Longhirst burn, but they chided me. My unassuaged longings chided me. The fleeing swallows mocked me. Another wasted summer gone!
Do I kid myself that I also shall sleep to wake in a new springtime? Is it thus that the 'obviously false' hope of a new life-after-death enters our minds; hard wired; like our 'obviously false' belief in causation, simultaneity, gravity. To my conscious mind it is clear that it is not I that will be born again, to learn to walk, to talk, to read, to love. It may not be my children, or my grandchildren, any more than they will be my swallows, or my roses that will return. But there is a confidence that this will all come again.
And I can return to raking leaves, refreshed from my little pause for thought.