The quiet melancholy to be found in autumn evenings is well-known and cherished by those who appreciate such things. But there is a sadness less observed, that of a January evening, when despite the cold, the feeling that the quiet of winter is slipping away makes itself known and leaves us vaguely apprehensive that soon we shall be expected to emerge and start again, whether we are ready or not.
In noise there is no peace. But to distinguish between noise and its opposite may be a skill that requires a lifetime.
Clouds form and reform in endless combinations.
Aiming to remain at none.
The more we search for splendour, for the visually dramatic and the awe-inspiring, the more our sensitivity to the muted, the delicate and the subtle decreases and eventually disappears. The beauty of the subtle requires work on our part and that is what makes it all the more precious.
In the autumnal light of a quiet afternoon there is an acceptance and a clemency which remind us that in the relinquishing of hope we might find the courage that has been evading us.
There is something very appealing in the idea of our lives and projects as journeys, ones which transform our daily uneventful routine into an adventure and bestow purpose and meaning beyond what we could see unassisted.
But perhaps another sort of journey, and one that is not centred on ourselves, is our travel through the seasons, a spiral that is always the same and always different. It is a road without an end and so it invites us to walk along without expectation. Its greatest gift is that arrival is impossible.
Sometimes, on a rare hot day, the warm breeze brings the scent of lime blossom. In an unexpected moment, its gentle soothing aroma suddenly reaches far into the depths of our memories and dreams, wakes them up, stirs a vague wistful feeling long forgotten, and then just as suddenly disappears.
What is there in the summer sky when we finally look at it? Sometimes the comforting softness of clouds, sometimes sheer emptiness and a blank slate. It may be well to leave it blank and unspoilt.