Skeins of geese fly over the roof tops, honking gentle encouragement to each other. It is a time of change in the natural world as creatures all over the planet follow the irresistible, internal tug to migrate. The geese trace the path of the river, so low over our house, we can almost see the colours of their tail feathers. Their call is an atmospheric sound for me, the sound of Autumn. With it comes a chill in the morning air and low mists trickling through the streets around the river.
It is a time of change in the human world too. The children are back to school, new shoes creaking, bringing home the inevitable school-swapped colds and bugs. They are excited about being in a new year, new teachers and new classrooms. It is bittersweet for me. They are another year older, growing wonderfully, just as I would wish, but another year of their childhood gone. Such precious years.
It is bittersweet at the allotment too. This is the last time I will take down the bean poles here. This is my last winter on the plot. I am moving to our new growing space in the spring. It has been a good year with lots of successes. I have jars of dried beans and peas for hearty stews over the winter. Pumpkins are curing on a sunny windowsill. There are leeks, parsnips and beetroots happily bedded in for us to pull up as needed in the cold months. So far, I am winning the battle with the slugs and caterpillars and pigeons for kale and red cabbages. This soil has nourished us in a multitude of ways. It has taught us about belonging, story, hope, nature, the point of human beings and joy. It has set us on the path we are following. We are migrating like the geese. We will be forever grateful.