Autumn Feeds My Soul

Perhaps it’s because I’m an October baby.

Perhaps it’s the sight of skinny scarecrows in their denim & flannel, standing watch over dried cornfields.

Perhaps it’s the growing darkness & thinning of the veil that lets us receive messages more clearly from those who have passed.

For all those reasons, and more, October feeds my soul.  I feel a greater connection to all that is across time & space, a humble sense of awe for the beauty around me, & a quieting of my spirit.

My sister called with a very simple wish to fulfill… “We need a traditional fall experience.  Fi and I will be there Friday night.”  She need not say any more.  I knew exactly the kind of experience they would love– a crisp, cool day on a farm.

Farm 6

The next morning, we parked near the farmhouse surrounded by orchards dotted with bright red apples & fields dotted with bold orange pumpkins of all sizes.  A John Deere tractor, pulling a wagon, stopped so we could climb aboard & sit on hay bales as the driver took us up to the orchard.

Farm 2

Armed with empty bags, we jumped down & wandered among the trees, looking for apples to pick.  Not all of them made it into our bags… one apple the size of a grapefruit tempted us too much.  Like three Eves, we took enormous bites, letting the juice run down our wrists & soak our sleeves.

We munched leisurely & made our way to the pumpkin patch.  Men & women of my generation will understand the reason why I immediately pictured Linus hugging a blue blanket, waiting patiently for the Great Pumpkin to arrive.  (Secretly, I want to see him, too.)  Choosing a pumpkin was difficult, for how do you choose the perfect pumpkin when they are all perfect?  A young man with pruning sheers clipped the stems of our chosen pumpkins & we rolled the orbs into our arms, trying hard not to spill the bags of apples.  Now we were both sticky & a bit dirty but isn’t that what it’s all about?… enjoying the moment to the fullest?

Farm 4

By now, our cheeks & noses were as red as our apples & it was time to go but not before my sister & niece posed for one last photo.

Farm 5

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  LM Montgomery

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Happy Thanks-Giving!

There are a few holidays that we celebrate in the US that don’t resonate with me.  Columbus Day, commercialized Christmas, & Thanksgiving.  “Thanks Giving” is a great concept; however, our version of it is a bit Euro-centric, to say the least.

I recently discovered a book titled 1621 Thanksgiving: A New Look, published by the National Geographic Society.  It caught my eye because it’s so different from the Thanksgiving books I was exposed to as a child.  Instead of a group of Pilgrims dominating the cover, this book has a beautiful photo of a Native American woman on the front.  It was written by the Plimoth Plantation (that’s how it’s spelled in the book) in collaboration with the Wampanoag Indian Program Advisory Committee.  Wow!!!  A book about Thanksgiving that Native American people co-wrote.  I eagerly devoured the story, confirming that it isn’t the pilgrim-version of Thanksgiving that I want to celebrate… it’s the Wampanoag-version of “Thanks Giving” that speaks to my spirit.  Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday; it’s a way of living in gratitude all year long.

I don’t need to wait until the 4th Thursday in November to express gratitude for all those I love dearly, my health, my cozy home, my backyard retreat that nourishes both people & native wildlife, art, Mother Nature, & countless other things that mean so much.  My Thanks Giving ritual will occur far more often.

May you have a happy Thanksgiving & many reasons to give thanks every day of the year!