Today at 3:21, we welcome the Autumnal Equinox. Autumn is the season many of us take stock or inventory. In the past, we stored our wares for the upcoming winter months, and our survival was based upon the stores we acquired over the warm months of summer and fall. Today, in the age of convenience, many of us no longer rely upon our stores to aid our existence. We simply go to the grocery store weekly or even daily. However, our human nature cannot be denied, and we continue to view autumn as a time to slow down, take a mental inventory of what is essential, and prepare for the upcoming year ahead.
Like the animals in nature, we snuggle in, create a warm, welcoming home environment, and nurture our families with comfort foods. Autumn presents a time of rest, reflection, and recharging of our internal batteries. It is a time when we draw closer to the hearth fires and rest after a season of labor and activity. From a personal perspective, autumn is a time when my workaholic bibbed wonder slows his pace and is forced inside earlier because the daylight ceases to be. Our busy market season ends, and we prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Our goats slow in their milk production and rest their bodies to prepare for the upcoming kidding season in the spring. The chickens go to bed earlier, and their bodies align with the season as egg production slows.
On our farm, we don’t “trick” our animal’s internal clocks to force production. We respect the natural process and allow everyone to align with the laws of nature. Rest and rejuvenation are important for all living things. Autumn is the season to rest and rejuvenate our bodies and our spirits. The spectacular display that nature puts on for us to enjoy should be welcomed and appreciated. The beautiful colors, the cozy temperatures, the warm fires, the clear night skies, the crisp breeze, and the nip in the air can’t help but calm our senses and rejuvenate our spirits. We, too, should try to align with nature and give ourselves a welcome break.
Autumn is my favorite season on the farm. When I was young, I would sit on the barn bridge in the cool misty mornings and listen as the Canadian geese flew in and landed on the pond. Their honking was a beautiful song of autumn, and the gentle crash as they landed on the pond rose to a crescendo. Walking the fields and catching a glimpse of a doe grazing on fallen acorns was almost magical in the morning mist. Seeing a fox hunting for field mice or voles was a rare and beautiful treat. Hearing the rush as a large flock of starlings take flight from the colorful trees was music to my ears.
I look forward to all the gifts autumn has to offer. Today I will make a large pot of creamy potato soup and fresh warm bread to welcome the season. We will enjoy a quiet fire with the first cup of hot chocolate for the season and retire to bed early because the days are shorter. We welcome autumn and all its glorious gifts.
As always, dear reader, stay safe, be smart, welcome autumn, and keep washing your hands.