Pause for Thought September 2019

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch eaves run.


Thus begins Keats ‘Ode to Autumn’, an idyllic picture of the season in an English countryside setting. I still love to read it and dream. There is still much in the poem that resonates with our present experience… ripe fruit, late flowers, barred clouds and full grown lambs, but sadly all this is under threat and I wonder if my grandchildren will know the full beauty of an English Autumn or will it have been wiped away with even more building and worse still a climate that creates unreliable weather throughout the year?  It is all very well to be pessimistic, what is more helpful is to think what can I, as an individual do about this?


One person interviewed on television said that every time she shopped she asked herself: ‘If I take these goods into my house, how do I get anything unused out?’ This particularly applied to food shopping. Another person was waging war on cling film and said to cover leftovers in her fridge she was covering in the old way and using saucers. Two ideas which are easy for each of us to do. Could we use our cars less? Could our children walk or cycle to school if they live in the village? Do we really need to use wipes which will clog up our water systems and choke wildlife? 

There is proof that if everyone does something we can turn around the awful threat of the heating of the world’s atmosphere and the threat that humans are causing to the natural world.

Surely we want Keats’ poem to still have recognisable reality as we move into Autumn… hear the ‘hedge-crickets sing, the red-breasts whistle and the swallows twitter’ all among a ‘light wind’.

In the Bible at the end of the sixth day of Creation Genesis tells us ‘God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.’  Whatever you believe about how Creation happened you must admit the natural world in all its variety and beauty is amazing… but we are rapidly ruining so much.

September is a good time for new beginnings. Holidays are over, school children all begin new terms. I always remember the joy of writing in a new exercise book and resolving to keep it neat! This September I’m never going to use cling film again or pick up wrapped fruit in the supermarket and I will use saucers in the fridge and look for the ‘later flowers for the bees’.  So what are you going to do?

 “Pause for Thought” this month comes from 
Canon Margaret Venables
Telephone: 01780 749127