The April Showers of Spring bring along new energy that bursts forth into summers busywork. Just when I feel settled into a daily routine of rising with the sun and grinding until dark, harvest after harvest, filling jar after jar and stashing away larder. The heat of summer yields to an autumn breeze. And just as the leaves drift down in a steady rhythm, our life seems to slow down (just enough to notice). I have enjoyed spending the last few weeks finishing projects and tying up loose ends. The only crops I have yet to preserve are grapes and apples, oh and maybe a few pumpkins! My task list is growing shorter and Fall always brings a good feeling of arrival.
I have noticed something lately about the world around us. Our peers are less and less affected by the seasons change. Maybe we are just old fashioned farmers. Although that may be true, the seasons affect much more complex subjects than home décor and coffee flavors. It is no coincidence that half of the world goes to rest under a blanket of snow in the winter, its actually crucial to our ecosystem. With factors like globalization, industrial technologies and climate change we are seeing a shift in these weather patterns. But is anyone noticing? Did you know this summer our area experienced the worst drought in 100 years? Have you also noticed the ash trees dying at a rapid rate due to a pesky invasive insect that arrived via importation just 20 years ago? There is becoming a blurring of the lines as the seasons changing becomes less abrupt.
The first step to answering these questions is simply to notice. Observation used to be encouraged in young children but is now being replaced with the rapid regurgitation of information. We are so quick to google the answer instead of detecting the solution through observation. I remember sitting outside on the porch with my grandfather in silence. He was so content to be still, to listen and to watch. It was out of those moments where the beliefs that I now stand firm on were first contemplated. My grandfather taught me so many things but the best knowledge he gave me with was how to walk quietly, sit still and to observe using all five of my senses.
Experiment with me for a second as you read this, it may be chaotic or it may be still around you but just take a moment. Open up your ears, what do you hear? Smell deep through your nose, how many different notes can you detect in the air you are breathing? Open your eyes and see past what’s right in front of you. Lastly feel, feel with your whole body, what do you experience? The earthy smells, sights, sounds and feelings of fall are there to keep us grounded. They remind us that we are human and our life is just a vapor. Seize the day, observe, use all five of your senses and you will be amazed at what you discover!