October 1, 2014

Settling In

We arrived at our new place in Maine on Labor Day. For most people that day signified the end of summer but I was thrilled that we could still enjoy the beach, open the windows wide, and assume that this would never end. It wasn't long before the weather changed but we have been enjoying summer's leftovers for the past few weeks. I am always very reluctant to put my sandals in the closet and stop eating sweet corn and tomatoes but luckily autumn welcomes me with changing colors, crisp days, and open arms that encourage me to embrace the season.

On our walks around our new neighborhood and town Amos and I see lots of birds. Pigeons flock over head, seagulls' squawks are everywhere and we glimpse long-legged wide-winged herons flying and wading near the shore. I often envy the birds that spend their whole lives outside subject to the elements. I know I am lucky to have wool socks, a down comforter and heat (and many other things that birds don't) but I sometimes wish I could be so closely attuned to the seasons. The way their early morning singing signals the lengthening of the days in the spring and how they never rely on a calendar to start their fall migrations. I know that being able to control and manipulate our environments has many advantages but with it we have lost a connection to much of the world around us and to knowing the subtle changes so well.

When summer lets go and fall takes over, I feel myself being led by the season, at the mercy of the weather in some small ways. At first I am reluctant but then the oranges, reds, and yellows that begin to color everything are enticing and I welcome the change. These darker chillier days have me ready to give up summer produce and to bring home piles of potatoes, squash, beets, and brassicas. When the times comes it is easy to settle in.

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