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honoring change

Full Moon.  Harvest Moon. Fall equinox.

Big week.

Honoring the end of summer and the beginning of fall.  Embracing change.

Embracing change?  Can you imagine?

How do we honor change?  Celebrate it actually…completely…before moving forward.  Do we say our best good bye before moving on and saying hello to something new and different?

Everybody loves fall with its crisp air and cool mornings…sweatshirts and boots after a hot summer.  Sometimes I’m so excited for fall that I try to wear my jeans and boots on days when it is still too hot for either after 10am.

While the leaves in the mountains have turned or fallen and even seen snow…down here they are still green, full with just a hint at yellow.  In the garden, the plants are giving it their all as they take their last breath.  With a rumor of frost, I harvest everything I can.  My bowls are overflowing!  I am inspired to celebrate and to honor what I have been given.  For me, that means a stove filled with pots that are filled with summer, salsas to can, fruit to preserve, to dry, to freeze.  It means making a meal for friends and putting it all on the table then taking a minute to look at this beautiful food and an explosion of color I am so blessed to enjoy and to share.

I’ve dehydrated tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, raspberries, made all kinds of jam, canned salsa, made gallons and gallons of soups for the freezer and started kimchi.  It’s a busy time as I bring in the last of summer’s bounty and prepare for winter.  Fall gets us there gently with its root vegetables and squashes.  Warming foods that grow close to the earth to ground us as the wind blows the leaves from the trees.

We talk of life, changes, it’s forward motion.  The two of us finding our way to each other so we are connected, moving together through this change.  Becoming us.

The yard is full of birds…woodpeckers, doves, finches, chickadees, blue jays…they fly and sing.  One is laying right in the middle of the yard.  No cats today.  I haven’t seen them at all…not even at breakfast.  Are these birds celebrating?  Are they enjoying this stopover as they migrate south? Even the squirrels are feeling brave today as they chase up and down across the trees.

AH! The cat comes out and crouches in the bushes waiting.  The squirrels run to a tall branch and bark at him…he puts his ears back and listens to their scolding.  The birds seem to know he has come back and their songs are quiet.  He comes for a drink and a quick hello, then sits ready in the middle of the yard waiting for a low flying bird.

I stand here today, in my kitchen, after a long walk and let gratitude for all of it fill me.  I stand in the garden and say thank you.  I pick the last of the raspberries and say thank you.  It’s been a good season…a magical one.  I say thank you to the flowers as I cut them back.  They have filled my spirit this summer.  I am careful not to take a single beautiful piece for granted.

And when I’ve done all of that, I’m really ready to put on my boots and jeans.  It’s time to move on.


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