Does Nature have a calendar on Her desk? A calendar like the one tacked on the cupboard, with lunar signs and holidays visible from a distance?! How else can She get her domain to function so perfectly? This year, with an early Dussehra and Diwali, I would have thought that winter would be lagging behind and a few more warm nights and cloudy monsoon days would be gifted to us.
It’s the 1st of October, and I am sneezing my way through the day. Frosty morning walks with two canine steam engines, mellow days of warm sunshine, crispy cool evenings and fall colors on the chestnut trees,have descended on our hill town. It’s the week when Ma Durga is reputed to descend from the Himalayas, and the Navratris/Durga Puja/Dandiya Raas/ Dussehra festival is here. Incense and smoke rise from the places of worship while mist and fog rise from the green valley below. The Goddess is decked in her red and gold finery for this week of splendor before She is immersed in the river, while the trees deck themselves in orange and gold for one last show before winter strips them to bare twigs. Sweets, delectable snacks and feasts are prepared at home…and the colorful winter vegetable show begins at the vegetable stall.
It is time to prepare for winter and its long quiet nights, crisp sunlight days, frost and snow, bare trees and deserted roads. It is time to pack up the summer cottons, pull out the blankets, quilts, carpets, heaters, sweaters and hats, and prepare hot soup. It is time to watch pumpkins ripen in the sun, grass drying up to become hay, and children getting rosy cheeks and running noses.
It is time to pull out wool, knitting needles, and patterns and knit the winter into my life!!