The clocks fall back in Ireland this coming Sunday, October 28th and this marks our bridge into winter. I absolutely hate dark winter evenings and was moaning to myself this morning about the changing of the time as I drove out to my beloved Newtown Wood, which is a mile or so from my home in Tramore, Co. Waterford. As I entered the wood, I was still muttering about how I’d hang on to the hour for as long as I could next week and ensure that I’d fight like hell to eke the very last ray of light out of summer time.
Newtown Wood is like home to me and I thought I knew its every mood, twitch, shadow, frown and smile. However, it caught me totally off guard today. I glanced down the woodland path which runs to Newtown Cove and was stunned by the fact that it had acquired a new carpet of glowing gold in the day and a half since I was last there. It seemed, too, that the birds and the little stream that flows through the wood were in shock too as nature presented me with this delight to my eyes in a breath-taking silence.
It suddenly came to me that the last time I had heard this magical silence in Newtown and felt a wondrous softness beneath my feet there was in the depths of winter in 2010 when Ireland had its last ‘big snow.’
As I stood deep in thought and golden leaves, I wondered how I could possibly have been letting my mind wander hopefully on to spring. Each season, month, week, day and hour has special moments to offer. The question is: are our eyes, minds and hearts open enough to recognise them?