It’s still early enough in the year, on the first of this month, to still be clinging on to the tail end of Summer. But how quickly the season changes throughout the month. It’s as if Summer is being packed away; the vibrant colours of the flowers slide into the warm russets and reds, crimsons and golds of Autumn. A few dry leaves lie scattered around the garden and the first immature windfall confers begin to appear under the trees. Wisps of smoke float through the air as the first fires are lit and their warm acrid scent permeates the atmosphere. It’s the month of the Autumnal Solstice when the year begins its hectic rush to its conclusion.
I always feel a sense of peace as September gets underway. The year draws to a close, the days draw in and the nights get longer. Comfort food is back on the menu and warm, woolly jumpers, hats and gloves appear from the back of the wardrobe. I feel at one with the pace, the rhythm and the predictability of the season.
There is also, though, a sense of sadness. The year dies and it’s a reminder of our own mortality. The year will be born again, but not us. We continue onwards towards our own inevitable conclusion.
I decided yesterday that the first day of the Summer is today, 1st June.
I got up early to listen to my nephew, a keen bird watcher who writes about the therapeutic benefits of bird watching on mental health, present ‘Tweet of the Day’ on Radio 4. It was only a two minute segment in which we heard some bird song from the Skylark and Joe talking about a walk he took during which he encountered six of the birds. He spoke beautifully and we could really hear the passion he has for his bird watching. A Proud Auntie Moment indeed.As I was up so early, I took a few quiet moments to just gaze out of the window and observe the early morning light and sky. We live in a fairly rural area so it’s always very peaceful at that time of day.My plans for June have started well. I had my own quiet early morning celebration of the start of Summer, I’ve started reading a good book, and I’ve done a couple more rounds of one of my blankets.No sign of Marbles today; he’s been about and has eaten his food but I haven’t seen him. I don’t like days when I don’t see him.
I shouldn’t complain but the heat today has been quite oppressive. It has left me feeling very tired. It’ll be an early night for me tonight.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, or mid-year resolutions. I don’t even have long term goals. I do, however, set out at the beginning of each month a short list of things to achieve that month. Here are my things to do in June.
Celebrate the start of Summer. There is some debate at the start of every season whether the season starts on the first day of the relevant month, i.e. March, June, September and December, or at the equinox or solstice. I’m opting for 1st June as the start of Summer. I have good reason for being up early on Thursday (my nephew is delivering a short segment on Radio 4 at 05.58 on the song of the Skylark) so I will use my early rising as an opportunity to enjoy the sunrise over the rooftops and fields I can see from my bedroom window
Go to a concert. This is a bit of a cheat as we’ve had the concert tickets since the end of January and the concert just happens to be in June. We’re going to see Leo Sayer perform in Huddersfield town hall. I wouldn’t call my husband a fan of Leo Sayer but he does enjoy his music and as the tickets went on sale in time for his 60th birthday my sons decided to get them as a birthday treat. Although, thinking about it, I ordered the tickets and the boys have never paid me for them
Finish two crochet WIPs. Specifically the two near identical blankets I intend to give as Christmas presents
Have my hair cut. This might seem a surprising thing to find on the list as most people have their hair cut on a regular basis. Not me, though. When I was told in December 2015 that my cancer had come out of hiding and was spreading, I knew that the chemotherapy would cause me to lose my hair. Again. So I last had my hair cut in October/November 2015 and it has taken until now to grow back enough to now need cutting
Read a good book. I generally read psychological thrillers or crime novels. While these are a step up from the ‘chic-lit’ I was reading when my treatment left me too tired to concentrate, they couldn’t be described as classical or ‘modern classical’ literature. Currently on my bedside table (or Kindle) I have On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin and All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I’ve already read On Chesil Beach (which I can remember only vaguely) and Brooklyn (which I can remember even more vaguely) but I’ve never read ATLWCS. I think I’ll start with On Chesil Beach