All of a flutter
MANY people’s favourite season is spring, for the miraculous manner in which it revives, renews and recharges the drab countryside after the dreariest of winter months. However, my best-loved time of year has always been autumn. I look forward to wrapping up on chill mornings when the grass crunches underfoot with a glistening frost and the way the trees look as if they’ve been set ablaze with shades of fiery magenta, ochre and burnt umber. How right Albert Camus was when he described autumn as ‘a second spring where every leaf is a flower’.
Last week, when I sat outside plucking a cock pheasant, its iridescent orange-and-green-flecked feathers floating away in the same rhythmic and restful manner in which the leaves from a nearby walnut tree fluttered to the ground, I was reminded of Vita Sackville-west’s BBC radio broadcast in 1950, in which she urged the audience to appreciate better the unremarkable delights in life. She asked listeners to acknowledge ‘the small but intense pleasure of walking through dry leaves and kicking them up as you go… they rustle, they bustle, they crackle’. Vita could not have predicted the current trend for ‘mindfulness’, but her entreaty to be more aware of the everyday beauty around us is a good one. PL