I talk a lot about the seasons. I talk about them a lot, don’t I? And I recently had a pretty lengthy conversation with our current house guest, my youngest brother, about how they really define the rhythms of my life. We also pondered the idea that in our part of the country, the changing of the seasons is a bit of a ritual for us. We open the windows in the spring. We dig in our gardens in the summer. We pull out sweaters in the fall and add extra blankets to our beds in the winter. We change our eating habits, our sleeping patterns and daily routines based on the temperature and the amount of sunlight available.
I’ve noticed us doing a bit of that lately. We finally, thanks again to our house guest, got some of the big painting projects out of the way. The moment we felt the first cool breeze, we were called to prepare our porch, abandoned for a bit during higher temperatures, in anticipation of fall afternoons and evenings of knitting, reading and listening to the cicadas. That fury spread to our living room whenever my painting sibling offered to tackle it for us. Alas, projects that were looming over us were marked off the list.
I suspect part of it had to do with momentum, but part of it also resulted from that inner voice that tells you that after autumn comes winter and we don’t tackle many projects in winter, do we? At least not ones that involve us carrying ladders in and out of the house and opening windows to let the breeze dry the paint for us.
And I find myself knitting sweaters. Two in the past month or so. Complete, blocked, folded and ready to go. I also pulled out my “real shoes” and tucked away my sandals.
I have been moving through the rituals of preparing for the next season and I’m not sure I even noticed. Perhaps my first clue should have been when I started bidding farewell to my summer garden, cutting back the flowers that were no longer blooming and contemplating mums.
As I left this morning for work, I noticed the owner of the small farm stand across the street was carefully placing gourds and pumpkins along the tables and in the boxes. He too was moving from summer and welcoming autumn.
So, we’re cracking out the honey and hot tea. I’m going to add a blanket to the end of the bed. I’ll start my obsession with butternut squash soon. I might put a roast in the crockpot and I’m wishing we had a fire pit.