Spirits of air

I have mixed feelings about the autumn. Crisp and colourful autumns can be delightful, but the years where storms tear the leaves off early, and the damp, grey autumns I find tough. However, there is something that becomes visible when the leaves are down, and that’s a truly magical thing…

Today I watched as a tiny whirlwind danced its way across the grass near my flat. Tiny in the scale of whirlwinds, but perhaps four foot high at its peak. I could see it, because of the fallen leaves. No doubt the wind spirits are at play throughout the year – I do sometimes see them dancing in old leaves and playing with litter. There was one in the doorway to Gloucester Cathedral, some years ago. But, when there’s a thick carpet of leaves to whip up, it is so much easier to spot them passing.

I’m sure there are logical explanations involving wind, the shape of the space and so forth. Rationally speaking, it’s just a little whirlwind. But I can’t see the world purely in those terms. I can’t watch that wild, dancing column of leaves and not feel a sense of awe and wonder. It doesn’t matter what the explanations are, or how explicable it all is – this is nature. This is energy. This is something real happening. For me, it is magic.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “Spirits of air

  • bish

    I love autumn. Perhaps most of all, or at least on a par with the glorious flaming colours of autumn, is the smell. Walk anywhere, away from houses and cars, and breathe in the deep mushroomy smell of decay, of gradual ending, of laying down for the next guys turn…

    Yes, I speak from a position of warmth and comfort, albeit the central heating isn’t on yet and hopefully won’t be for another couple of weeks (it did get a try-out for one freezing cold and dripping wet day, but not for long). If you’re out there working in the cold and wet, perhaps it’s not so great. If you’re living in it, even less so.

    But getting up with the sunrise (or before) and bidding welcome to the Sun, then calling farewell again later in the day… walking in the woods and catching that special wind-tossed leaf (yes, we still do that)… digging over the summer-spent vegetable plots, putting in the good rotted compost and sewing the winter seeds…

    Hael Autumn. 🙂

  • Aurora J Stone

    The twirling, whirling dervish dancing leaves are one of the wonders of Autumn. I still walk along kicking the clusters of fallen leaves gathered on the sidewalk or pathways. I will still toss them into the air as an act of thanksgiving for the season and its gift of showing the beauty of dying and letting go.

    I love the smells, aromas, the perfumes of autumn — ah, eau d’ leaf rot. And the sounds of crunching leaves walking along helping the leaves break down to fertilise for new growing.

    With these wet storms there has not been quite the colour left on the trees, but there are some lovely burnished bronze oak leaves about and the delicate yellows of birch. The brief joys of transition.

  • Little Green Footsteps

    Just yesterday I was out with my son, he was giggling at the wind in his hair and watching the leaves whip past us. Then, out of nowhere this tunnel of leaves leaps up from the pavement in a perfect spiral. And for a few seconds we got to walk through it before it disappeared again.
    It was amazing being inside this cylinder of flashing red and gold. My son wasn’t the only one laughing, never seen anything like it before 😍
    I embrace this season like no other, I have more energy and I want to be outside even more than usual, brings out the inner child 🍁🍂🌰🍂🍁

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