Saturday, 12 September 2015

Twilights and Intimations.

Winter twilights have a certain cold, detached charm about them. They hold the interest for a while until a crystal voice whispers ‘Better go inside to the fire now, and leave me to watch over the wilderness.’

Spring twilights can be harsh, but they are also optimistic. ‘See how I’m growing,’ proudly murmurs the voice of nature's child.

Summer twilights, when properly arrayed, wear the gown of the Latin senorita. Being sultry, seductive and possessive, it’s sometimes hard to pull away from her warm embrace and face the emotionally cold light of halogen until bedtime.

Autumn twilights are the ones with two faces. While the land around is daubed with colour, the day is shrinking and a creeping chill is beginning to suffuse the evening air. Autumn encapsulates those lines from Macbeth:

Away and mock the time with fairest show
False face must hide what the false heart doth know

I have nothing against autumn. It is, after all, only doing its job as all the seasons do. I wish I could love it as most people seem to love it passionately, and I did when I was a boy. My birthday was in autumn and Christmas only a little way beyond.

But when you’re a child the progress of the seasons is a wheel endlessly turning on the road to a seemingly endless future. That’s the difference and the clue to autumn’s metaphor.

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