The evenings draw ever inwards. When we wake in the morning the light is hazier, heavier somehow. We are at the golden cusp of autumn, when the light is deepening and becoming richer, when mornings and evenings are getting rapidly darker, when the trees begin to wilt and shed. This darkening is seductive to me and signifies the start of a new slowness: a time for blankets, candle light, for quiet creating and reflection. It's a dark season I used to hate but now look forward to, a season I have realised I need.

So we prepare with reverence. The logs are delivered and all of us bear witness to the first fire of the season. Jewel coloured leaves are exclaimed over and hoarded, the boots are polished and the woollens are shaken out of their faintly lavender-scented boxes, washed and aired. Beeswax candles are ordered and stockpiled, ready for long nights at the table around a casserole dish and bottles of red wine.

I pay special attention to my bedroom, the room that will hold my growing pregnant body over the cold winter months the room I want to retreat to for naps, reading and simply being quiet. So I dress it with linen and woven wool and sheepskins and fill it with plants and perhaps a scented candle. I encourage its provocation by switching the lamp on and turning the covers back around 5pm. I spend the following hours looking at it longingly each time I bustle past the room on a work phone call or with armfuls of clean washing, or with a tired 4 year old on the way to bed. This little tease makes the pleasure of slipping under the covers complete. In this way we embrace and welcome the rich colours and comforting darkness of autumn.

Words by Hannah Bullivant, writer, blogger and stylist based in Kent, England.

TOAST product featured throughout is available to shop online and in store: Knitted Tweed Coat, Long Dinner English Beeswax Candles and Wool Wash Throw in deep black.

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