the finest time of the year, when the air is so transparent, and the gaze meets all those colours, and there is the freedom of putting down the burden of summer, and feeling light, like the cranes, and the geese, and all those little nameless birds that move overhead, through the night sky calling out to join them in their flight.

and there is that ache of remaining and being bound to this earth, this land, this spot in the universe, where the darkness creeps up, expected and unwelcome, to feast at your table for half a year.

so it is time to stock up on warmth and all the sunshine one can get, store the smells and the colours of autumn in little vials of memory, and grow a winter coat.

and build a fireplace, and prepare a huge hoard of logs, and a kettle, and dried herbs for tea. and set two chairs by the fire, one for the self, and one for a friend.

and as the earth spins through the darkness of space on its endless journey, the crackling fire and the shared cup will take us closer to light and understanding.

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