Pecans are falling from the trees. It’s an indication that our growing season is over. A storm moved in yesterday bringing dark clouds, cooler temperatures, and scattered showers. It looks like it may stay awhile. I’m originally from Wisconsin and miss the four seasons. This change in weather is a gift.
I have finished canning, and our shelves are stocked. There are still a few cantaloupe, peppers, carrots, and onions in the garden. This morning I picked the last of the pomegranates. The vibrant colors of peaches, apples, apricots, and watermelon have disappeared from our breakfast table. I feel the shift inside me. A longing to pull inward and to focus my attention on the house has set in. Farmers don’t have time for spring house cleaning. We get the job done in autumn. The list of winter projects is long, and I worry we won’t get them all done before it’s time to trim trees and till the garden next spring.
The seasonal change has affected my palate. A Cesar salad sounds bland and cold. My body desires bubbly stew, hearty soup, spicy pot roast, and warm bread. Tonight I’m making chicken pot pie and butternut squash. I’m craving a pan of brownies, but it’s a slippery slope, so I’ll refrain.
Wildlife feel the shift, too. Hummingbirds are draining the feeders at an alarming rate as they prepare for their southern migration. The pecans I scavenged off the ground this morning have been gnawed on by rabbits. The same rabbits that sit under our apple trees waiting for the overripe and bruised fruit to fall. Rattlesnakes are coming in close to the house looking for a warm winter home. A swarm of bees gathered on a piece of lawn furniture yesterday. Ron caught them in a bee box. They seem content to settle in. The Great Horned Owls have expanded their hunting grounds and only come home every few days. I miss their antics. The migrating birds have moved on. The doves and finches will stay for the winter, but without other birds to compete with, it is quiet around here. Too quiet.
Without the frenzied orchard and garden schedule, there is time for introspection. We have lived here just over a year. Gone are the days of trying to keep up two homes while working full-time jobs. For a year Ron and I have taken the dogs on a walk down the runway each morning. We have eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner together. We have figured out a rhythm that allows us time together and time apart. We have thrown parties, spent time with family, and have made new friends. Most importantly, we have lived our lives on a schedule that leaves time to enjoy the things that matter to us. Every day I remind Ron we live a good life, and every day he agrees.