Autumn Splendor

Wow! What a Season.

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion." ~Henry David Thoreau

I'm a big fan of Thoreau because he was a wonderful writer and profoundly connected to nature. Nature is my muse that provides endless inspiration. This season, Autumn, is particularly inspiring, as is Spring, if you're a painter. Talk about stimulating the five senses! Sight = the light becomes more golden. We are suddenly aware that the days are getting shorter so each ray of sparkling light, whether on field of multi-colored grasses or illuminating the reds, oranges, and yellows of maple trees, bittersweet, wild grape, and sumac makes us stop in our tracks and take in the magic of it all. Smell = we breath in the air of autumn; sweet and pungent, and reminiscent of autumns past. Sound = leaves falling is a distinct music complimented by the remaining crickets and cicadas as well as the hollowing coyotes, calling owls, and the song of returning birds such as the Junko. Touch = I've been putting my gardens 'to bed' and am amazed by the variety of textures in all the plants I have put in the ground. (I have made many friends through my garden this year and have been giving away divisions as well as seeds of many of my favorite pollinator plants.) Taste = apples right off the tree, squashes from the field, hardy kale and brussels, herbs from the culinary garden like rosemary, sage, and thyme, and, of course, cinnamon! Why is cinnamon so right this time of year? It's comforting and delicious. It makes everything it touches like oatmeal, delicata squash, and pumpkin chai taste AMAZING! WOW! We are so blessed to live on this earth.

Two quick (I'll try to make them short) stories; one - our rescue of a stray kitten and two - the pumpkin truck (and by truck I mean 18 wheeler).

1) One night, Glen said "Let's go for a walk after dinner hon. I've got a surprise!" My knee was hurting from over-confident-in-my-late-fifties-use and I didn't want to go. "You'll love it!" Glen said and so I went. Little did I know that a) he was going to show me the largest acreage of pumpkin fields I had ever seen and b) that we would rescue a stray kitten meowing from a bramble of thicket near the side of the road. Now, I've got to say, in all humility, that I have a remarkable love of pumpkins. I dont' know why and I don't need to. My birthday is mid-October. Orange is an excellent color. But, no, none of that really adds up to my obsession. I just love pumpkins. They make me happy in an unconditional kind of way. So although thousands of pumpkins across the fields was what Glen was intending to show me, I ended up creating a new form of yoga enticing a five week old kitten to a can of Fancy Feast through choking vine and thornbush. Her name is Pearl, short for Purrfic, and her spirit is something to admire; fearless, always ready for play, and communicative of her needs as she's needing them.

2) The Pumpkin Truck. Every day for the past several weeks we have watched an 18-wheeler truck pass with countless tall boxes of a plentitude of just ripe pumpkins. These aren't small pumpkins either. They are the kind that every household wants to carve into a Jack-O-Lantern to both welcome and spook the entourage of trick or treaters. Every time the truck passed by I cheered 'pumpkins!' (a little crazy I know but hey, we have to find inspiration and gladness somewhere right?). One day I was determined to film the truck from the time it left the field until it passed our house. I hadn't anticpated the beauty of the harvest. I have been for 3 decades a dancer/choreographer and dance educator. What I witnessed in the field the day I went to shoot my video was just amazing. I had been waving all summer at the Nourse employees but hadn't really seen them in action until now. 7 men were on the ground, the other 7 on the flat bed of the truck near the boxes awaiting pumpkins. Like an exquisite and mesmorizing ballet, the men on the ground freed the pumpkins from their vines and tossed them to the men on the truck. The men on the flat bed caught the huge pumpkins and tossed them into the boxes with ease. I was floored by the athleticism, strength, and grace of the workers. I tried to imagine the musical accompaniment that would serve the scene; Vivaldi came to mind or Talking Heads.

So much is happening right now in the nation, the world but I encourage you to pause to smell the air, pick up a handful of red, yellow, and orange leaves, listen to the last calls of summer insects and the returning birds, and bake a pie or a crumble with apples you have picked yourself and a lot of cinnamon. Be well. Stay safe and spread love wherever you go.

~ Tracy