The day dawned cold and sunny, skies brilliant blue from here to there and almost cloudless, autumn and the north wind strewing rattling twigs, rustling papery leaves and spicy perfume everywhere. The Michaelmas asters, fall "mums" and chives in the garden were in ceaseless windy motion, their shadows weaving along the hedgerow and to and fro across the grass like a troupe of flamenco dancers.
Alas, the events of which I wrote only a day or two ago have transpired. This morning, there were no bumbles, bees, wasps and hover flies about. Temperatures fell drastically overnight, and the tiny fliers passed away quietly, their scant living hours on the sunlit earth brought to an end by deep cold and bitter wind. The garden is silent except for an avian visitor now and then, and I mourn the passing of the legions of fuzzy wee friends who cavorted among the flowers all season long - like the cicadas, they are gone too soon.
What to do in this time of restless change and bluster and tumbling temperatures? The old lantern in the far corner of the patio comes to mind. There it sits on its square of pavement, worn, rusty and verdigrised, its creaking door eloquently ajar and waiting patiently. No candle or flame cupped in its latticed roundness, it understands what it is here for, and it cradles and tends remembered light within. So must I do, until the year turns at the solstice and our days begin to stretch out again.