Harvest Magic

Autumn is magical, isn’t it? It’s different than other seasons, somehow. Winter is beautiful but often brutal; Spring is full of hope and light, yet the muddy dregs of winter cling to it and mar its beginning; Summer is as brutal as Winter in many ways, driving us inside our air-conditioned homes while we gaze longingly out at our gardens and patios.

And then, Autumn. It begins slowly, the blistering heat slowing relenting and allowing us to enjoy our yards again. Grocery stores and farmers markets grow abundant with piles of brilliantly colored tomatoes, fragrant peaches, and rustling ears of corn. Children excitedly pick out backpacks and binders, their shiny new school-shoes squeaking as they wear them right out of the stores.

It’s a quickening, a gathering of energy bursting forth for one last glorious display of richness and warmth before the earth inhales again, gathering itself close for a long, deep sleep. We feel the urgency inside us, a vestige of the times when harvest spurred our activity to fever pitch, driving us to cook and store and prepare for the long dark.

Only we don’t have that outlet anymore. Not many of us, anyway. It’s no surprise that despite fresh, living food being readily available year-round, home canning and preserving has seen a resurgence in recent years. The urge to line our nests is so deep in us that even after modern technology has solved the issue of famine and winter shortages, we continue.

For me, it starts with baking. The leaves don’t even have to change a shade before I’m imagining my kitchen filled with the aromas of apple pie, pumpkin bread, and spice cookies. I start craving deeper, richer colors and shopping for thick-knitted sweaters. The desire to dive head-first into Halloween decorating can be frankly irresistible.

In an effort to pace myself and start slow, I decided to try printing a list to keep in my planner. The one I found from the blog Paper&Glam is fun and you can even buy a sheet of printable stickers to match and put on your calendar. So far this month, I’ve crossed 5 things off the list: pink and orange floral, teal manicure, fall home decor, pumpkin spice latte (I cheated a little and had a frappucino, but give me a break, it’s fucking hot in Texas!), and Labor Day (which I spent not laboring).

I like this method of spacing things out and having specific goals, because I can tend towards burning out by eating pumpkin cookies and drinking cider for 60 days straight.

Tomorrow I’m making peach pie, and this weekend will be fresh corn chowder and the first use of my fire pit! I even got toasting forks for the marshmallows.

Autumn is over too quickly, and I am determined to enjoy the hell out of it before it’s gone. What do you think I should I add to my to-do list?


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