The cows have abandoned the field behind the house and I wonder if I had perhaps imagined what caused such intense pleasure in me. I think that I must have conjured up the image to satisfy the obvious fallow circumstances of their temporary pasturing on a brown swathe of land, thick with rock. Knowing that time would cause a cessation of my bucolic dream, I pretended to ignore their inevitable, annual departure. Their silent, dismissive and heavy farewell.
For it is November now and everything is changing. The ash tree is almost bare. Two good gales have seen to that. The driveway littered with dirty brown mulch and the wind chimes knotted into a numb and useless contraption lie in the porch void of music. New sounds take over. The wood hisses in the stove and spoons tinkle in swirls of hot chocolate, the lid of the casserole being constantly removed to inhale the rich thick stew, clatters back in place, the slam of the porch door on a windy day, a bewildered blue bottle is an angry drone as she avoids my useless stealthy attack. I glide within a house preparing for darkness. A drowsy slumber creeps into my bones.
A reprieve when I cut up a pumpkin from the stash on the windowsill. Slice into the meat, scoop out the seeds - a treat for the hens. Roast the flesh in the oven. Orange pulp for the pie. Cinnamon and clove, a dash of allspice. My finger tips change colour, they are sycamore leaves in the lane. Fresh brown eggs. Cream. Brown golden glistening sugar. Oh the delight of pie. The rolling out of the pastry. Always a challenge. Still satisfying. The smell infiltrates November. It only comes once a year. I never see it coming and I never see it go. It just is.
Two more gales to go before the tree is bare. Two more gales and then two more after that and storms and snow and rain and sleet and two more gales after that before I am back here in this November kitchen, a year from now, forgetting to notice anything worth writing about. Fumbling about in a drone of monotony.