Autumn’s cathedral, open to the weather, rose
high above, flawed amber, gorgeous ruin; his shadow
stretched before me, cappa magna,
my own, obedient, trailed like a nun.
He did not turn. I heard the rosaries of birds.
The trees, huge doors, swung open and I knelt.
(excerpt from Pathway by Carol Ann Duffy)
Every year this city turns into Autumn’s cathedral. The heat of summer lingers in the sun warmed air but there is a gentle change in the light. That hard yellow brightness is replaced with a stained glass glow of copper, claret, crimson and gold.
Our walks are heart stoppingly beautiful at this time of the year. We stroll down pavements and paths which have transformed into leaf strewn aisles beneath a shimmering luminous canopy of branches.
There is no altar, apse or nave in this annual cathedral but unexpected candles light up toffee bright branches and an invisible bronze thurible swings from the blue sky and fills the cool air with the bitter sweet fragrance of beginnings and endings.
© Anita Patel, 2017