Autumn Changes

posted in: Wellbeing | 3

Autumn Changes at Leychert

Today has marked a turning point in the year – the day I first succumb to putting long trousers on!  I love the warmth that we get here in the French Pyrenees for lots of the year. Autumn is often very gentle and we can still be eating outside until into December. But there are a few nippy days when the clouds come over and you reach for a pullover… And so it was today. The rhythm of the change of seasons is making itself felt.

autumnMy last blog was way back in June when the season was just about to really get started here at the B&B and retreat centre. Since then we’ve welcomed some fantastic guests walking on the Cathar Way, on one of my retreats, or just holidaying here in the mountains. Everyone who comes has something to teach me. And I hope everyone has enjoyed sharing the produce from our garden, now that it has finally got going.

Power of the Mountains

Most of the people we welcome here are looking for the peace and quiet of spending time in nature.  It has the most magical calming effects, particularly on our city-dwelling clients who spend lots of their time in traffic jams and navigating a high-speed life. The power of the mountains is their ability to entice people to stop. Really stop. Just sit and look. No book, no digital entertainment, no noise. Just a silent conversation with the vastness of nature. It is hard to remain stressed here. The forests just won’t allow it. They grow to a different rhythm. And when you’re here they call you to slow to their pace. They won’t be rushed.

Autumn Bounty

autumnWith the late start to the season this year, we’re now having a bumper late harvest. The tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes that I thought would never get going are producing at a rate that I’m only just keeping up with and it is a joy to walk down each morning and see what is ready for me to collect.  By now they would usually have worn themselves out and stopped, but we’re enjoying a late burst of productivity. As with the forests, they would not be rushed. It was too cold to grow in May so they started late, but their bounty is just as glorious – perhaps even more so – for coming late in the season.

Natural Time

And so it is with our lives. There are things we dearly wish would come sooner. The child who is six and three quarters longs to be seven. We cast our minds hopefully forward through working weeks to our weekends and holidays. When loved ones are away we count the minutes to their return. But nothing can be rushed beyond the speed of time and nature. Some things we would rather not have come so soon, particularly perhaps as we age. But by the same rhythm they must also come in their natural time.

Autumn and harvest and the nights drawing in are the things I will focus on for now. Watching the leaves turn to the blazing colours of the fall. Noticing the first nips of frost that will be with us at night. Pumpkin soup to keep me warm. A few late raspberries to savour with a little home-made soft cheese. Everything in its own time.


Hilary Stringer
autumnAfter she turned 50, Hilary realised that what she really liked was listening to people and growing vegetables. She had accidentally worked as an innovation consultant, a Reiki master/teacher, EFT practitioner and coach. But all of those were just different ways of listening to people. She now runs a B&B and Wellness Centre in the French Pyrenees were people can come to relax and be listened to, and eat the vegetables that she grows.




Also by Hilary Thoughts From A Pyrenean Garden


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3 Responses

  1. Cassandra

    Such deep wisdom Hilary and that ripens when we accept and engage the slow beauty of these lush autumn days …. magical!

  2. Rosie Christopherson

    Absolutely soothing to read Hilary, so beautifully written. Hoping to visit one day and soak up your mountains xx

  3. Francesca

    Oooh everything is growing so wonderfully for our Grandmother Turtle Retreat arriving next weekend – how very exciting! I adore the description of the mountains and the slow and natural rhythm… even though I live in the middle of nowhere I can still do with a real slow down. Looking forward to meeting you at last and experiencing the deliciousness of your heavenly home and retreat.

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