‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness/Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun/conspiring with him how to load and bless/With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run’.  So begins John Keats famous poem,  To Autumn. This Irish summer has certainly been generous in warmth and sunshine. Crops that suffered the late start of a cold spring have finally come to fruition. Fields of plump golden ears of corn and wheat patchwork the countryside.   Ripe apples are being picked in Irish orchards.  Leaves are burnished red and gold upon the trees. October’s stiff breezes will lift them from their branches and send them fluttering to the ground. Nature’s carpet of goodness,  ensuring the soil is richly fertilised for next year. A holistic cycle – autumn gives us bountiful harvests and a sense of battening down the hatches for the winter to come. Traditionally, we say thank you for prolific summer growth with a celebrational harvest festival. This is how the people of old did it. They knew the importance of a good harvest in guaranteeing the food to come. Technology may lead us away from this simple existence. Social media networks and the ability to communicate with friends all over the world may well have been successful in keeping us from looking out of the window and seeing nature’s signs of the season. Take five minutes today to stop and think about the old ways of life. Be glad we have a harvest to celebrate.