Miss Read and Late Summer

One of my favourite authors is Miss Read. She writes beautifully and evocatively of the countryside and, with her clear vision and unsentimental views, has much in common with Laurie Lee and Flora Thompson. There is comfort to be found in the unchanging village life as well as the ever changing of the seasons.

On a warm morning, sitting at the open window enjoying the sights and sounds of late Summer, I am reminded of Miss Read's novels, and pick up The Year at Thrush Green and read her description of August.

"After lunch that day, Winnie took her deckchair in the shadiest part of the garden....it was very peaceful under the trees. The bees were busy among the lavender flowers, and forcing their way between the velvety lips of the snapdragons. Somewhere nearby a young bird was piping for attention, and high above the swallows swooped and soared. Soon they would be gathering together to chatter about their plans for migration. Then, thought Winnie sadly, it really would begin to feel like Autumn.

In the distance, somewhere along the Nidden Road, she could hear the throbbing of a combine, bringing ever closer the thought of cleared fields soon to be ploughed for next year's crop. Yes, Autumn would soon be here.....

A yellow leaf fluttered from the plum tree and landed on her lap. Soon, thought Winnie, there would be mushrooms, those magical pearls thrusting up overnight through the dewy grass.

She held the dead leaf between the thumb and finger, enjoying its roughness, and closed her eyes again."

So beautiful and evocative, capturing the essence of late Summer and the first signs of Autumn.