Sunday morning in autumn in the countryside of southern Germany
The sun rises weakly over the green wooded and fielded hill, only a soft blurred red area in the quiet fog. As she rises, she gains strength, burning away the dampness, slowly at first, then ever faster until the houses and gardens, the villages and little towns sit in soft clear light, under a hazy, not-quite-blue sky. It is quiet. Birds chatter from time to time. Flowers open their petals. Coffee is being made inside the homes and crisp fresh breadrolls eaten, still warm in the middle, with butter and honey. Churchbells ring, calling to service. The landscape soaks up the gentle heat of the quiet sun and lies in peaceful stillness. A small airplane drones across the sky. The birds are mostly silent now, but the sounds of cars driving by, in the distance and sometimes closer, can be heard every few minutes. A dog barks. Children play, far away, their voices only just carrying through the quietness. All public life has stopped, no shops are open, no deliveries are made, Sundays are private. Some villages, however, have autumn festivals going on – market stalls along which the people stroll, chatting to their neighbours, acquaintances and friends, buying pottery or woodwork, herbs or home-made jam, eating sausages in a breadroll or a steak sandwich for lunch, while a band plays music or the children’s choir performs their repertoire. Everywhere else Sunday lunch is being cooked and the smell of potatoes and roast wafts through the air and soon the families will be sitting down to eat. The sun shines on unconcernedly, covering everything in a diffuse golden light.