For each of us a season.
The back door is open and chill coils of mist spill down the jambs to the floor to eddy and pool. But not too far, its too warm in here for you, soon you'll be reconstituted, twinkling droplets on the coir strands of the mat. Fresh from the bathroom in a towel, making coffee and enjoying the counterpoint of cool and snug warmth, I can see you, plod plod plodding up the rear steps. Brown-wetter-than-normal-nose first you appear out of the foggy shroud little by little and stand on the threshold, half in half out, writing nonsense with your tail to ask, "did I hear a dish being filled dad, was that the cupboard door?".
"Yes it was chuck, now go and fetch your dozy mate". And these are the 5 minutes I keep for myself in the morning, sitting in the kitchen watching Charlie delicately pick at his breakfast while Toffee sets at his with such gusto that his whole body seems to clench and fragments of kibble ping and ricochet off the walls.
Today our sounds, the slurpings and munchings, the ping of the kettle and rattle of the spoon, are more precise, resonant almost, our aural colour, since the world outside is quiet wrapped in a blanket of thick muffling fog.
To wake up on a foggy autumn day is to wake up and discover that you are deaf. To lean out of bed to wipe a hand across the window to see the world confirms that you have also lost the faculty for colour. The world outside is shades of grey, and suddenly, shockingly visible cobwebs an inch from your nose. The fog has permeated the glass, a misty osmosis beading the inner surface and the little river that I have formed runs down my arm and drips, coldly onto the bedside table.
It's too early to get up, too late to go back to sleep. There's a warm snug nest in the middle of the bed and cooler spots for toes on either side. Four great fluffy pillows to make soft walls, to cocoon until this bleary eyed splutterfly emerges into the world. So comfortable to lie there, so quiet and utterly peaceful. A short distracting day dream of a soft warm bottom sleepily resting against my leg, a freckled shoulder and slender neck draped in tussled hair, framing the smell of blissful contented sleep...I miss you (whoever you are)...
...no time for loss. There is no time to concentrate on what is not.
A different bottom, a bony bum with tail, bumps against the bedroom door accompanied by a loud, stage sigh, "pfffhhhhhhhhhh" ("are you ever getting up"?). How does he always know when I'm awake? I'll leave them in their separate space each night, tucking them in with a brief tummy rub, Charlie on his beanbag and Toffee in the corner of 'his' sofa. But every morning when I get up and open the bedroom door a large brown inquisitive eye will peer into the room and the patch of hallway floor immediately outside will be warm. And we'll sit outside for a moment and play rough and tumble, on my bare bum on the cold wooden floor, and it's good, it's great.
That's a part of why I like this time of year - beyond the colour and quality of light, the crunch of leaves and the feeling that everything is somehow richer, readier, complete - there is also coolness. It's no longer a world of dull warmth, (the summer warmth where every surface feels the same), but a dappled landscape of temperature, a place where fingers and noses are cold and toes are as snug as a bugs in a rug. When I'm warm I'm simply warm but when I'm cold I have choices and surprises and the opportunity for the mundane to be small delights, thick socks, soup, sunshine on a woodland walk, even a proffered smile is more warming on an autumn day.
It's an evening for wellie boots and a torch lit scramble I think. And tomorrow a lie in, and perhaps a day dream before the alarm bum strikes the door and says "come out".