The following post is this week’s farm musings from our CSA newsletter. When we went to print them Monday, our printer would not cooperate, which was frustrating…but I guess we were blessed with not having this happen any time up till now, when we actually have the blog going to post on in lieu of a printed version.
Tonight it begins, that slow turning inward that creeps up on our bare feet, our lightened step. I can feel it in my bones, this shifting of seasons–not to mention in my chilly hands and cold legs, unprotected by this old skirt. Tonight we pulled out the wool socks, we lit up the wood stove. This afternoon, we gawked at the geese honking high overhead, listening to their own bones, their own internal knowledge–the cold is on its way. Mid week, signs of this changing poked their heads out here and there; some gray, some rain, a coolness that lingered until lunch rather than packing up by late morning. I even had to notice the leaves lining the curb behind my market stand this week. Never mind that we were as hot as it gets as the week began, it is here…tonight. It is more than the rain, the darkness, the warm fire and extra blankets. The season is changing, and this inevitably changes us.
Even though we are just as busy as we have been since May, as our portion of the world receives less and less direct sunlight, I find that I feel less and less busy. It is not the amount of work that has changed… we will have to wait until we reach the very depths of fall for that to happen here at Growing Wild; no, it is my disposition that has begun to shift as the earth shifts. Summer is a time of boundless energy. All of creation hustles and bustles, full of life and living. I, too, partake in this energy burst brought on by long days and warm skin. But now, a calmness is taking hold. It helps that by this point we have settled in to the routines of this farming year. Still, there is just something about the change itself, the many sensations of warmth and coolness, nakedness and wool, that tell me that as I wrap more things around my body, so too do I begin to unwrap my mind. Summer is just too busy for deep reflection; but the shroud of cool rain and gray clouds is the perfect protection for uunabandonned contemplation!
And yet, as much as I welcome this, it can be hard to let go of those long summer days and the sureness of the sun. Already, I bemoan the fact that I did get to the river during the heat of the beginning of the week. Will I really not get to sink into that water again until next year??? But nature has ways to sweeten the deal, to make amends, as it were, for anything we think we may miss as summer says goodbye. These take the form of sweet sugars in the foods of fall like winter squash and snow peas. The same crops that thrive in the spring are like a totally different food when maturing in the cool of fall. Broccoli, cabbage, kale, mustards, turnips, and rutabagas all develop higher levels of sugars in the autumn. The Brussel sprouts dot the field, silly looking ,but holding the promise of my favorite fall meal, roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels….hmmm! I know it will be sunny tomorrow, and get warmer than today again, but the air will smell different from hear on out. It will smell crisper, seem clearer. Tonight, it begins.