There is something magical about snail mail.
I love to walk out to the mailbox and find a piece of a friend's heart wrapped in a paper envelope with my name lovingly written on the outside.
I reflected on this short conversation later in the day. His words were a double-edged sword. On one hand, most people would agree that it is good to do new things, to challenge yourself, and to forge onwards. On the other, it is also the kind of thing you say about poorly behaved children, “Oh my, they have a lot of energy, don’t they?”
I pull on my jacket and step outside. It is brisk out this morning and the sun has not fully risen over the cool horizon. The smell of spice and pungency penetrate my nose and I think about the last days of summer and nature drawing her curtain on that production. Leaves fall at my feet and I watch them scuttle to the fence bottoms when the wind comes to play.
The days start so much cooler now with a crispness that reminds me winter is on the way. I need my jacket until afternoon comes but then summer returns for a few short hours and I bask in her glow and reminisce with her.
Fall and spring are the bridges between such stark contrasts: the desolation and pause of winter, and the vibrancy and productivity of summer. Spring is the reminder of nature’s resilience and fall is the reminder of the necessity of death. The circle completes again and again and I am witness to it.
The birds are travelling in numbers again. This year’s offspring join in the throngs and they prepare to make the journey to somewhere else. The flowers in my garden bow their heads and drop their raised branches. They too are looking for a rest in the garden bed.
Fall is my reminder to let the seasons of my life happen as gracefully. A windy storm may blow through and threaten to uproot me but I can also release my grip on trying to control the ebbs and flows, the comings and the goings, and the abundant times and the lean times. There can be ease to this progression if I simply let it happen.
My tomato vines are heavy with juicy, sweet-savory, red orbs and my beets are raising their proud purple shoulders out of the earth. Even my corn silks have dried and are waving in the breeze signalling the cobs are ready for harvest. It is autumn and my garden is bursting with the fruits of a summer’s growth. It’s delicious and overwhelming, as it all comes ready for picking in the same short window.
Our plates have been full of our own produce from the deep pungent flavour of roasted root vegetables to fresh delicate bite of green herbs. These meals nourish us with their vitamins but they also bring on a special satisfaction that comes from nurturing something of value out of bare soil.
When we began this spring, we didn’t know what our harvest would be. We could only dream about how one pound tomatoes could hang safely on our spindly young tomato shoots. But they grew, and thrived, and supported those weighty fruits; one hot summer day and one flush of rainwater, at a time.
I see myself reflected in my garden. I am working bit by bit at my bare soil: watering, giving it sun, and air. Over time my work grows stronger and fuller like the surprising abundance that comes from my garden. My work is colourful and crisp, and it’s earthy and wholesome. I am bringing forth my own gifts to the world one day at a time.
I loved to read self-help books in my twenties and thirties. They got me through. They gave me hope and helped me dream and aspire to bigger things. I don’t doubt that some of my ability to embrace change came from hearing inspiring stories of people who either overcame great obstacles and found happiness or some rags to riches story of someone creating opportunity and success out of poverty.