28 September 2012

Equinox...generally speaking

Does autumn fill you with energy and cheer, 
or do you resist it with every leaf that falls?  

For us, it is a landslide of harvest, returning to the office, 
and trying to notice all the changes happening outdoors. 

According to Wikipedia, 'equinox' is not exclusively a term for the times of year when night and day are equal in length.  It is also a way of referencing a passage, a change.  As the autumnal equinox compels us to concede summer is fading, we have been enjoying some other changes, too.

Jerod and I are both Virgos, and we were another year older by the time the 2012 equinox occurred.  Celebrating our birthdays with friends* and good food never really feels like an "end" to me.  There is always the sensation that all the earth's energy is suspended, hanging weightless at the peak of vitality for a precious moment before autumn descends.  The world is full of promise - harvest abundance, brilliant color, and minds returning to tasks of learning, productivity, and community ways that we relax away from in the summer.

For the past couple of weeks we've been navigating around piles of produce, the kitchen full of things to can, freeze and dehydrate.  But, we also hiked out into the woods, and luxuriated in the punchy freshness of cooler air, and gilded leaves.  And, we lent a helping hand to a river clean-up project (pg. 1) aimed at helping a local river meet the change of seasons as healthy and tidy as possible.

Autumn has always felt like 'real life' to me.  Change is undeniable, and it sometimes happens overnight this time of year.  One sharp frost and all the greens are reduced to puddles of goo.  Another one, and the root vegetables take on a sweetness they didn't have under the summer sun.  A couple more, and it's all over - the garden turns inward and hunkers down for another winter.

We close our windows to to increasingly chilly air, and start pulling out warm socks and mittens.  And, just maybe, we take a look around us and see things a little differently - bare branches frame the neighborhood more clearly; hungry birds are more bold, so we get a closer look; the plants we forgot to harvest remind us of what we want to grow next season; the zany little things like lichen 'flower' and we see a microscopic world carrying on just as we do.

Despite the fact that autumn 
is often cast as a harbinger 
of death and endings, 
something about 
autumn always reminds 
me that 'life goes on.'  

There's too much work to do, too many colors to marvel over, 
and too much food to eat to become melancholy over it.

*Thanks to Mathieu Basille for the birthday photo.


Bertille said...

I liked your article and I already miss the Autumn ... it's a nice period of the year, a great transition between hot and cold weather, and of course with the nice colors in the trees, food that you can find during this time, atmosphere ...etc ... Enjoy it for us ;)

fruit.root.leaf. said...

d'accord.  Je ne peux pas imaginer que l'expérience
de saisons au Miami ne sera pas le même d'ici. :)  On en va profiter bien en pensent de vous.Bissous,Bethann

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