Sometimes I worry a little bit that that I may sound redundant in my writing about the seasons. And yet, I cannot downplay the importance of it to our life. Living where we do, our days look so very different from one season to the next, based on the weather and the temperatures and the work of that time of year that must be done, and the fun that can be had. It is not just something we pay a lot of attention to, but rather something that is always the undercurrent of what we do, and how we feel, and how we shape the way that our time is spent. Right now, I am feeling the simultaneous push and pull of the autumn season. The push to get out there and get everything done that needs to be done before it's too late. And the pull inside that is drawing us closer to the hearth, home, and the calmer work of our hands. I want to go out and harvest the last of those green beans, but oh, I'd like to sit by this fire and spin a little bit longer.
That urgency of autumn is beginning to be felt, as we draw up our "To Do Before The Snow Flies" list and realize just how much is on it. Of course, it won't all get done. At a certain point the snow will fly and this, that and/or the other thing will not be done. And we'll be just fine. For our 'urgency' of course is not the same kind of urgency that I'm guessing was felt by the original farmers of this old house two hundred years ago, or even a hundred years ago for that matter. If we run out of garlic (we will), there is the grocery store that we visit frequently enough. If we run out of firewood, we could always fill that tank with oil and turn the furnace on ("it's as simple as that - you just flip a switch!" my older boys jest with us when splitting/stacking/hauling firewood becomes a bore). And if we run out of hay, well...there's always someone who will be selling some in the middle of the winter.
Yes, the urgency might not be anything like that of the generations before us. But in our attempts to live closer to the earth, I think there's still an air of it that is felt, and we are there right now. There's no need for panic about that to do list, nor is there room for just sinking right on into that cozy spot in the corner by the fire and ignoring the list. The push and pull of this time of year finds us trying to balance both of those things. Cleaning up the pastures and gardens, tightening the barn, stacking hay and firewood, storing our food....and simultaneously....beginning to draw in, nurture ourselves and rest a bit after a long season of good work.
We've just spent the weekend gathering with friends, around the fire pit, with wool blankets and warm drinks - another sign of the season as everyone's schedules become more free for visiting. Today we will get the hay tucked into the barn and pile up the leaves for next year's garden mulch. We will work our bodies hard, and feel the cool autumn air in our lungs. And then, we'll come in - a bit earlier than we would have a month ago - and share soup, and maybe sit and spin a spell. Harper already announced his plans to start a fire in the wood stove tonight. And I think that's just how we should do it this time of year - both inside and out - working and living and playing hard, and warming ourselves at the end.
Wishing you all a most wonderful start to your week...