Journal entry October 22nd~
I sit facing the citrine light of an autumn sun wondering what I have done to deserve to be in such a moment.
I arrived here early but not as early as I should have liked, as is usually the way. A small break in the hedgerow is my throne. A fox must have passed through here in the night but I do not mind sharing his ripe scent this morning. Around me, hanging suspended are the intricate weavings of harvest mice. No doubt these grassy orbs were misplaced by the recent hedge cutting. I do hope they have winter nests tucked safely in the hedge, I feel warmed by the thought of it.
On my way here I found a sweet chestnut tree scattered about its trunk were slightly misshapen spheres, spiky fortresses that have begun to turn from vivid green to autumns brown. Such protection usually denotes a delightful treasure and as I use my boots to gently squeeze and pop open the casing a treasure indeed is revealed.
The nut itself is magnificent with a richly polished surface that the finest of cabinet makers would be proud of. I break the woody skin with my teeth as I have done since I was a child chestnut hunting with my grandparents. Beneath this skin hides a layer of silk close to the colour of a young rabbits paw with the sheen of salty sealskin. Now it could go one of two ways either the pith removes with ease revealing a landscape full of the trials and tribulations of the nuts growth but more than likely you will meet a fierce opponent that tests just how much you want this nut! A good nail can scrape it away which is what I have to do today and there it is, a light butter coloured sweet of the woodland. I nearly always miss a bit of pith which I don't actually mind but if I'm honest its mainly due to impatience, another thing that hasn't changed since childhood. Popping that first chestnut in your mouth is a wish making moment. Fresh and crisp it crunches most splendidly and I am reminded of every autumn that's been.
I am thankful to the squirrel overhead who discarded these particular nuts. I presume to the connoisseur these were not quite up to standard but to my untrained pallet they seem perfect or perhaps the current glut of the season has made this bushy tailed fellow quite choosy. All around me long tailed tits chatter joyously 'The sun is out, The sun is out' they say. As I turn my back to it and walk home to the sound of a glider in the blue and a new seasons sweetness on my tongue.