Tove Jansson on late autumn

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The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won’t find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight.

There are those who stay at home and those who go away, and it has always been so. Everyone can choose for himself, but he must choose while there is still time and never change his mind. (5-6)

The forest was heavy with rain and the trees were absolutely motionless. Everything had withered and died, but right down to the ground the late autumn’s secret garden was growing with great vigor straight out of the mouldering earth, a strange vegetation of shiny puffed-up plants that had nothing at all to do with summer. The late blueberry sprigs were yellowish-green and the cranberries as dark as blood. Hidden lichens and mosses began to grow, and they grew like a big soft carpet until they took over the whole forest. There were strong new colors everywhere, and red rowan berries were shining all over the place. But the bracken had turned black. (24-25)

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