Saturday, October 1, 2011
Me-oh-my, October 1st?! Where has this year flown to? Perhaps the arrow-trails of geese have gathered up the passing months and are yanking them away back to whence they came earlier this spring. Does time seem to take on a more urgent tone to you too this time of year, or does it only seem to me that each grain of sand is emptying at a more rapid pace?
Autumn is such a conundrum... there are so many things that need to be accomplished quickly in this short season, and the need is real, for we know what lurks just around the next turn! Yet for all the compelling compulsiveness to get it all done, there is also that desire to just appreciate autumn's sheer, albeit brief, beauty... to savor slowly each painted leaf, every frost etching, each red-cheeked apple, the last of the garden's offerings, before all is tucked under a blanket of snow.
To me, there is too much of this one season to relish in too-short a time; it's akin to stuffing a treasurebox to overflowing and trying to fasten the lid down without springing the hinges and spilling the carefully-gathered contents out onto the floor. I need to clean the barn out and snuggle it in with fresh shavings and straw before the snow flies, but I want to drive the backroads and photograph graying old barns and abandoned houses amidst the riot of gold and russet foilage before all the leaves are shaken from the trees. I need to dig up the rest of the carrots and pick the collards and kale to dry, but instead I gather more apples and make apple pizza, applesauce and apple pancakes just because it makes the house smell so heavenly. I really should pull up and weed out the gardens, but it would be such a shame to let a lovely afternoon slip by without a walk through the woods, or maybe I'll take the kayak out just one last time...
And so it goes, not just with this one season, but with every season... to find a good balance between doing what must be done, yet also making time to enjoy what is waiting to be appreciated. The more years that pass by me, the more I try to make time for those simple things that bring such unexpected gifts... things we adults don't pay much attention to now that we're all grown up; how early-morning fog across the valley makes you feel you are standing at the edge of the ocean, how lovely a field of dried grasses and wildflowers look sheathed in frost, how much fun it is to iron leaves between wax-paper, and how difficult it is to try and count the geese in that flock flying overhead.
So I will take that walk, and I will get the garden weeded and put to bed as well! And no-one but me, myself, and I will know in which order it happened!