Synchronization of the seasons

 

Our bar wood benches and tables stowed away for winter

Season: n 1: suitable or natural time or occasion: 2: a period of the year associated with some phase or activity of agriculture (as growth or harvesting) Season vb 1: to make palatable by adding salt or condiment 2: to make fit by experience

Considering what might be the last fine day in 2021, yesterday we stowed away the pavilion furniture inside my former gift shop—one of many outdoor projects we aim to complete before snow flies.

                Since April, we’ve hefted mulch, compost, and garden waste which conditioned our bodies for this ritual of putting summer to bed.

I confess, lifting and stacking eleven barn wood tables and twenty-two benches claims every bit of our physical and mental fortitude. Yet, in the exercise of this annual task the past eight years, we’ve mastered a pattern for maximum space economy.

Our procession of preserving our belongings began last month when I parked my golf cart inside the pavilion’s storage room. For the first winter in twelve years, she won’t be left out in the cold.

                Betsy, my Club Car, hasn’t seen a golfer since I purchased her as my garden buddy—my back and step saver to and from beehives, and up and down hills from gardens to burn piles.

                Now Betsy rests amongst harvest baskets, coolers, bins of hot and cold cups, and other acquisitions.

Betsy, my golf cart, with garden companions 
                Rest. That’s exactly what my body craved when I closed the pavilion doors upon our completed chore. Instead, I asked my husband “What’s the weather forecast for this afternoon?”

                “Rain.”

                “Better plant my garlic,” I said and fetched my buckets of compost and oak leaves.

                On my knees with trowel in hand, I mused at the brevity of summer’s companionship with friends, flora, and honeybees.  

                The sun on my shoulders and the sore spot between, I tamped soil and oak leaves above forty-two garlic cloves. At last, I sat back on the heels of my chicken boots. “Finished! Praise God!”          

Oh yes, I’m surfeited of gardens. Their needs to meet my needs: beauty, fragrance, food.

                Indeed, homegrown garlic waits in our basement on the shelf with canned tomatoes, peach butter and jam, and currant compote. Squash and asparagus soup and raspberries fill our freezer.

                God is good. Faithful.

This is why we gather with family and friends to give thanks. Why we will soon find our bottles of sage and allspice in our spice racks.

For our hearts praise God in seed time and harvest for our land, food, and liberty.

Glad and exhausted, I carried my empty buckets, swinging by my sides in synchronization of the seasons, to the greenhouse.

Come suppertime, hungry with plates of barbequed pulled pork and roasted garlic, red potatoes, and broccoli before us, rain fell fast and hard.

Dear Reader, if you know the meaning of the Yiddish word “verklempt”, you grasp my emotional condition. If you grow food and are over seventy years old, you’ve been there and will be again.

Yes, I slept well last night.