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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Season's End

One of the best (and sometimes worst) aspects of living in upstate New York is that we have Seasons. We're not one of those places (I'm looking at you, San Diego), where the weather is more or less the same most of the time, and winter means it is 50 instead of 70. Here, it can be 70 one day and 30 the next, just because it feels like it, and when the seasons change, boy howdy, do you know it.

At least it's not boring :-)

Honestly, I like having seasons. I like the way the different times of year have different energy, and different looks, all of them beautiful in their own way. Although it took becoming a Pagan and learning about the Wheel of the Year, that cycle of ebb and flow that all things follow, before I made my peace with winter. Now, although I still don't enjoy the cold and the snow, I DO love the quiet, more restful energy of the winter, when nature slows down and slumbers, and the pace of life is a little bit slower. (In my case, not until after the holiday rush at the shop, but you know what I mean.) After rushing around all year trying to keep up with the yard and garden, and summer activities, it is nice to sit on the couch with a cat or five, a mug of hot chocolate, and a book.

There are lots of signals that tell me that the summer is over, fall is here, and winter is fast approaching. The wooly bear caterpillars are everywhere, the geese honk overhead as they fly south, and the trees have shown their glorious fall colors and are already beginning to fade.
 Across the street
 Next to the back of the barn
 There's always one show-off.

But for me, I know the season is over when I finish tearing out the garden and putting it to bed for the year. That's what I did last weekend (it was really a process over a couple of weeks, but the last of it was finished this Saturday). My friend Ellen and my step-daughter's mom Jo came over, Jo mostly to supervise and keep the other two of us company, since she'd had dialysis earlier in the day. Ellen and I pulled the rest of the plants out, saving a few green tomatoes to ripen on the counter, and leaving the last bed of spinach and lettuce, which will stay alive until the first snows. Here and there is a batch of kale or parsley. Otherwise, the beds are all empty and covered, waiting for the entire process to begin again in the spring. Next year's garlic is planted, and the fountain and pump have been pulled out of the pond. It seems strangely quiet and peaceful inside the garden fence, reminding me that I too should be starting to slow down a little, and turn inward.


Do you have seasons where you are? If so, do you like them all, or only one or two? Do you try and go with the flow, or simply charge along, no matter what? Happy fall!

12 comments:

  1. We put our garden to bed yesterday. It's often bittersweet, but this year I'm ready. It's easier to stay at the desk and write when it's chilly or windy or raining outside.

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    1. I was ready this year too. It helped that it was a tough garden year, with lots of things going to crap, but also, I'm just ready to stop wrestling with it.

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  2. We in the Pacific NW have seasons. Those in the mountains and in the more inland areas have larger seasonal changes than those of us on the west side of the mountains, closer to the ocean, but I have seen color changes in the trees and the weather is colder, darker, and wetter (the bad part of living just west of the mountains and next to the ocean). I love the bright blue sky of your autumn. But I don't love snow and ice. We often get some of the first and more of the second, but mostly it's rain and drizzle for days and days (and days and days). That's why so many folks in the PNW get really depressed in the winter. I do believe that the Seasonal Affective Disorder diagnosis was initially developed here. :)

    I love all seasons except winter. I will try to love winter, because I like your comments about it, and because hating it just makes things worse.

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    1. Skye, winter will always be my least favorite too. But I used to get horribly depressed, and since I started "going with the flow" and appreciating the aspects of it I could, I find it much easier to bear.

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  3. Oh, I hate fall now! It's weird...fall always used to be my favorite season. And back in my student days, I wanted to be pagan, but always felt I was missing something when I went out in nature. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I became a passionate birder. After a couple of years of observing bird behavior, I really "got" it. The Wheel of the Year makes sense! Nature, especially bird behavior, and the complete departing, at the end of summer, of the breeding birds, confirms it!

    It's weird how I feel more "pagan" than ever since I've started looking at birds...not to mention some odd conversations with the land here in Central Illinois...

    Well, now as a birder, I get it. I feel more connected to the land than ever. And...fall makes me sad. I can't wait for the spring Equinox, when things start stirring again...and the birds start to come back....

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    1. Don't be sad, Emily! It is all just part of the changing Wheel of the year, and the cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth. You can't have any one of those without the others.
      I don't know where you live, but even in the chilly northeast, we have lots of birds all winter long. The cardinals are my favorites.

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  4. I love the changing seasons and can't imagine ever living in a climate where one day just blends into the next and the next and the next...I love switching to warmer then cooler clothes, the change in diet...Yeah, I love my seasons!

    The key to winter is dressing appropriately. Seriously. (And trying not to drive in bad weather.)

    Susanne

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    1. Layers are your friend :-) I love my silk long underwear.

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  5. And I meant to add that your photos are great!

    Susanne

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  6. (waves back from sunny San Diego) ^,^

    I will say that the fall colors are the thing I miss the most about living in a place where the change of the seasons is more measurable. I /love/ autumn.

    I have to admit that I'm one of those "charge along" kind of people, though. As a Pagan, I know I should be more connected with nature and the changing energies . . . I'm really not. Not yet, anyway? Work and bills and all the day-to-day cares keep my brain too talkative to manage to connect even when I do go outside and try to just sit. There's always something else I "should" be doing. Might partly be because I'm a city girl and a bookkeeper in a large accounting department. My cycles of "busy" and what passes for "slower" are monthly, with three weeks of deadlines, end-of-period closings, and Billing Day, followed by a week of kind-of-a-breather if I'm lucky. Oy. Summer and winter are the same for me in terms of the energy I have to keep up to get things done.

    And I probably sound like I'm complaining. I'm not actually. I do enjoy my work very much. It's just really demanding.

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    1. It can be really tough in today's fast-paced, electric light all the time, world--I think that's why so many of us are drawn to the nature-based Pagan spirituality, even if we can't manage to follow it the way we want to.

      I don't get to slow down until after the busy holiday season is over, since I run a shop and make jewelry :-)

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  7. I'm in Washington State, Seattle to be exact. There are some really beautiful autumn trees here right now. I would say we do get very distinct seasons, though very little snow here in Seattle. We do get snow in the mountains close by though, and occasionally a little storm will come to the lowlands. All in all, I am actually a fall/winter person. Spring is beautiful too, but summer is usually too warm for me. I grew up in the mountains of Washington and love the cool crisp fall air, and the chilly & frosty snow days. Though I can appreciate all the seasons for what they are, I feel especially energized during this time of year.

    Oh, and also, I didn't get to fill out your poll (missed it somehow) but as a side note, my favorite book of yours is probably the Everyday Witch A-Z spell book. I reference it all the time!

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