It's only September 26 but this morning it sure looks, feels and sounds like winter is settling in. As dreadful as that may seem, I actually enjoyed spending some time outside. I happily immersed myself in the simple task of cleaning out the gardens. I pulled the spent corn and sunflowers and put the pea fences away for another year. However, I left the root crops - carrots, beets and potatoes - in the ground, hoping for the soil to dry up just a little before I bring them in for winter storage.
The yard is beginning to look bare and somehow a bit sad and lonely. It's oddly beautiful though. I paused more than a few times, while I worked and clomped around in my muddy rubber boots, to take it all in. Golden poplar leaves swirling and dancing about. Flocks of Canada geese honking their disapproval overhead, as they make their way south. The cool wind and rain on my face. It sounds unpleasant but was actually quite calming. And it felt so good to get some of my life's work done before sitting down at my desk to do the busy work of an accountant.
We've barely said farewell to summer and we've had significant snow here twice already. It's felt a bit like winter in my life lately too. Today though, like each and every day, is new beginning. I'm committing to these new beginnings. New opportunities. New choices. No matter how gloomy it may seem outside or in your heart, there's always sunshine in hope.
Fall is my favourite season of the year. Time seems to slow down just a little as the days get shorter. The sky takes on a deeper shade of blue and the shadows become longer as the sun slowly slips farther and farther to the south. The flowers of summer fade and no longer take centre stage. But the changing leaves more than make up for it with vibrant displays of every imaginable shade of red, orange and gold. Even the strawberry patch joins the party and blushes a bold crimson.
Fall is crisp mornings with just a kiss of frost. It's a long walk with my best friend Sophie. The rustling of golden leaves in a gentle breeze or the crunch of them underfoot and the somewhat pungent but yet pleasant smell of decaying vegetation. It's stopping for a moment to admire spectacular views of summer fading away and autumn taking over as nature prepares for another winter season.
Fall is a time to gather. Farmers and their giant combines harvest seemingly endless fields of grain. Gardeners bring in a bounty of vegetables for canning or to store in the cellar for the winter. Geese and birds flock and prepare for the long journey south. And hay is stacked neatly in the barn to keep the ponies fed and happy all winter long.
Fall is taking time to enjoy simple things. It's flannel shirts, favourite jeans and new boots. Fall is apple pie. Homemade soup. And everything pumpkin spice. It's hay rides. Corn mazes. And bonfires.
Most importantly though, fall is a time to give thanks. It's a reminder to appreciate our blessings and gifts. Even when life isn't perfect. There will be hard times, hard lessons and broken hearts. But we should always be grateful for family and friends and for God's amazing grace.
The pump-house was never all that nice to look at. It was functional. But certainly not a feature in my yard that I was particularly proud of. I'd painted the old, weathered plywood a few times in the nine years that I've been out here. It had good bones but was in need of repair and a make-over. I decided it was time for a pretty re-build! Continue reading...