The nights get darker, and colder. Weeks ago the trees have started turning bronze and are shedding their leaves now, holding on to the skies with nothing but bare black branches. With the first nights of frost, the garden spiders have miraculously disappeared, and only the empty webs prove that they have been there at all. On the uneven sidewalks little puddles have gathered, black rain water, white ice crystals surrounding them like tiny white shores.
It's quieter outside than it was durinig the long, shining summer months. No parties all night long, no celebrations, no naked dancing under the stars. People have gathered around their electric camp fires, keep to themselves in small flats where there are protected and isolated from the wind and the rain. No one would stay up all night to see the grey autumn day dawning from the hood of their cars.
And the ghosts. Stories fly through the nights, memories and nightmares. Where there is light, there is the desire for dark secrets and hidden dangers. The chill on your spine while you know you are absolutely safe... and it all feels different when you have to walk home through the dark streets and listen for the sounds of footsteps and the howling of Bheansidhes and witches. We walk faster and work hard not to look back. They will get you when you look back. Everyone knows that, right?
But even the longest nights will not last forever. And as the skies turns lighter blue, greyish, then purple and pink around the edges, mist wells up from the riverside, twists its fingers around lanterns and parked cars and devours reality. The mountains start to shimmer, glow like from within. Deep sailing clouds hide the tops of houses from view. And suddenly - fire, the mountain tops balze and shine, strands of clouds like smoke curling up from the end of the world, and the river glistens in the first light, like the first river way back, and you hold your breath, and the sky is all blue suddenly and the cold seems so much more intense under the first rays of sunlight, and the world awakes.