Oxford in autumn

The clocks have gone back; we are in the final days of the glorious phase of autumn, heading into winter darkness. When the sun bursts out - as it currently is - we accept it as pure gift, added to that other gift, autumn colours.

Oxford in autumn is a truly glorious sight, a riot of copper and bronze, beautiful against pale grey stone or with a dark, evergreen backdrop. When the sun shines on them red leaves catch fire and yellow ones turn into a shower of gold. On those days I walk around the park or Worcester College garden, where other people are already taking photos and exclaiming at the glory of it all. But even on gloomy days these snatches of colour stand out boldly, lighting the way, or resemble festive bunting strung out above us.

Truly, The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil... (GM Hopkins)

The end, of course, is nigh. There are as many leaves on the ground as still in the trees, this time a dozen colours and varieties piled into one - and still looking beautiful, even as they prepare to wither and die...