The welcome sound of birdsong demonstrates nature’s continual commitment to rail against the hard onset of true winter. And yet in other places, frond-like fingers of stasis are slowly taking hold.
I poke about in some of flowerpots atop the garden table. Leaves are no longer moved through the garden with the skeletal skitter of autumnal animation, but settle where they lay: resolute, rooted, and in the process now of being absorbed into the soil upon which they have made their final bed.
A solitary ladybird is nestled into a shrubby bud on the Pieris bush: a seemingly seasonal anachronism, yet here it is, choosing its place in the natural order of things.
A baby blue tit flits onto the bare stalks of the lilac bush in front of me, and starts tweeting boisterously. Puffed up and proud, this tiny bird shows no fear, and chirps at me, observing me curiously and playfully, just as much as I am observing him.
A robin soon replaces him, and displays a far warier look, eyeing me with inherited suspicion and flying off in a matter of seconds, his orange breast a warm fire in the cool morning mystery.
The sleek outline of a female blackbird feeds on the food hung out for it in one of the bushes. Almost pearlescent in the strange November morning light, its form shifts between black and brown, with each movement of its elegant head: contours that blend effortlessly into the sluiced soil at its feet.
The trees, plants and flowers stand still and ready, seemingly anticipating the next phase in this continual transition through an eternal cycle of seasons: I take my rightful part in this scene, and reflect on a challenging week.