It’s difficult for me not to get maudlin at this time of year, during this specific year. I had hoped last year to be in our new home to see autumn arrive, but of course, we were living in a caravan. So I looked forward to autumn 2011, but like the season I find I am drooping, wilting and dropping off! Or, to carry the analogy even further, find I am cut down in my prime.
It’s hop harvesting time and as we have moved a couple of hundred yards from a working Oast House, it’s a time of tractors buzzing up and down the road, the damson filled hedgerows combing the bines as they pass and soon air will be heavy with the sweet green smell as the cones slowly dry. Then it’s bagging up time and the same buzzing tractors will haul off weightless hessian sacks full to the brim of beer in the making.
So why am I maudlin. Not only did I grow my sweetcorn in the hope that my husband and I would gorge ourselves on it at this time of year, but this is the one season that the reason behind our local buildings are made apparent. All those converted oast houses around and hoppers cottages tell us our heritage. And I so hoped that we would be here together.
I tried to go for a walk alone yesterday, but I didn’t get very far, I couldn’t breathe. I realised that I was so tense, I was taking shallow breaths so that I just couldn’t continue. It was everything around me, reminded me of the good walks we had before husband went away. We’d comment on everything, stop and eat from the trees and hedgerows, advise what was about to come into season and talk. Talk and talk and talk. I feel very guilty because I remind myself of my Aunty who lost her husband, so early (he was just 50). I am being selfish and self-pitying I know, because my husband is coming back. But I understand the pain she must have gone through.
The loneliness when someone you love has left for sometime is burning, it is salved for a moment or two when you are occupied, but then you stop, and the burning is back.
The tactor buzzes up the hill again and reminds me to get off my mawkish arse and get occupied.