It is dark outside. Or at least almost dark; there is still a trace of the sun on the western horizon, a lighter tone to the inky sky. The wind blows and rain threatens.
This time last year it was still warm enough to keep the windows open long after it had grown dark. We spent long evenings with the T.V turned off as we listened to the grasshoppers outside in the garden with their endless song and moths flew in following the lamp light.
What a difference a year makes; the cloak of autumn is wrapping around me early this year.
Tonight I made stew. A thick, hot chicken stew, something I usually save for cold October or November nights. It isn't really cold, not yet. Not cold enough to put the heating on anyway. But as I listened to the wind howl through the oak and hazel outside, stew just felt right. The windows steamed up as it simmered away. The candle I always light on my kitchen altar when I cook guttered in the wind forcing through a crack of open window casting shadows in the darkening gloom.
For the first time this season it was dark enough to cook by candlelight and I felt winter in my bones.