Fall, in the Middle of Summer

As I notice some of our deciduous trees begin to have their leaves show specks of autumn, I thought the sharing of this piece may be fitting. Many thanks to guest writer, Bella Donna, for sharing.

I’m sure this has happened for eons, but for me a most recent discovery.

I’m outside in the middle of July in the southeast United States, in the dead-thick of summer. My
gardens, or yardens, as I call them, are in glorious bloom and scent. I’ve been harvesting daily
meals of berries and different vegetables for months now. Today I collect a handful of basil,
green beans, sweet potato leaves, and a few not-so-pretty edible carrots.

Yet, as I do my daily walk-about, I see the blackberry brambles drying and dying back, and
putting out next year’s shoots. The spring peas are dried, with seeds to harvest for next year’s
planting. Turnip seeds have fallen while fennel brilliantly adores the space three feet from the
ground. The prolific comfrey leaves are fizzling out as new undergrowth begins. Summer rose
blossoms are forming into fall rosehips. Garlic is well into a downward spiral, seeking solace
until next summer.

The poison ivy is evolving from its shiny summer greens into fall’s shades of ambers and reds.
Yet, it is the dead of summer, and Mother Nature knows to prepare for the next season. And
maybe even earlier than normal? I wonder what else she has to teach? Maybe to be aware of
our surroundings more? Maybe to understand, or just remember, that everything cycles,
including ourselves? Maybe to live and flow with the seasons better?

Years ago, I took a class called Eating with the Seasons. The class textbook is Staying Healthy
with The Seasons by Elson M. Haas. Nearly twenty-some years later, it continues to be a
staple in my reference library. I also remember a portion of Rosemary Gladstar’s herbal
program that I took back in the 1980s.

I have used both of these references now for decades, yet another realization.

As life goes on, I am making it a goal to gather more references directly from nature. Rather in
the past, it has been from books and “what so-and-so-said.”

I invite you to do the same. What messages are you receiving from your outside explorations,
even if it’s only a short walk to your mailbox?

As Henry David Thoreau so perfectly and eloquently put it, “It’s not what you look at that
matters, it’s what you see.”

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