The captivating and insistent song of a bird draws me out into the garden at around 7.30 pm. It is unseasonably warm, the evening light diffused and soft. I follow the sound, and discover the little bird, a robin, singing his heart out at the top of the tall holly bush bordering the roadside, and beyond the wall, a couple of people are chatting. Just across the way, I hear a concrete mixer being tumbled clean, and in the park behind the house, children shout and play.
White windflowers brighten the encroaching dusk, and the half-light gives the yellowing rowan leaves a glowing intensity. A few straggling blooms from the second flush of the shrub roses cling on, reluctant to relinquish the easy days of summer, while the Rosa Rugosa hedge bears large, coral-red hips, fat and juicy as cherry tomatoes.
I feel a spot of rain on my arm and look up – it has been forecast for tonight. There is light cloud, a thin, straggly coverlet of pale grey. An owl hoots speculatively from the sycamore in the church yard, and bats take to the air.
We have stepped over the threshold of the Autumn Equinox, transitioning from light to dark as the Sun’s power wanes, and I sense the tilting of the Earth. The air is cooling now, and the rain falls heavier, along with the dusk, as I go back inside.