Sometimes I have to give myself a push to get some fall work done. The baler needed maintenance to be ready to bale in the spring. However spring and the next baling seems a long time off, and good fall weather lends itself to an afternoon walk. Then again, spring walks are great too when you’re not cleaning a baler that should have been put away well, last fall
A light frost welcomed most of this week’s mornings. Then with this morning came word we could expect a hard freeze the next two mornings. Such word has a tendency to change the day; this one certainly changed the afternoon. We got an early morning start on a grant due today and a workshop for presentation next Saturday. The grant made it to the mailbox before today’s delivery, and an art-based workshop on community and hospitality was in place by noon. We then got to the important stuff.
We picked the remaining tomatoes, bell peppers, and jalapeño peppers. Next, we grabbed onions and garlic out of the cupboard, and lifted a few spices from the rack. Then we got to chopping, grinding, shaking and mixing. Once everything was in the pot and stirred up, off to the stove to heat to a boil, bottled, and hot water bath.
It might have been a push, but the rest of the day was perfect for canning. Sun and clear sky, and temperatures such that you could spend the afternoon in the sun and never break sweat standing next to the stove. The next couple of hours were spent filling jars, fixing lids, and dunking them into the bath. While waiting for the fifteen-minute bath to finish, we got in a little reading, a little talking, and a little landscape.
Fall may be cooling down, and winter might be coming, but salsa…along with a little goose down…will make those cold days ahead a little warmer!
© David B. Bell 2010
I cannot help but look out the window the day before fall begins and the day before Autumnal Equinox and think how different and how wonderful the seasons. The summer solstice does not feel that long ago when the longest day lit the horizon long before I would sit, think, and write. This morning the western sky is dark, with stars, as the eastern sky begins to lighten with a thought of color.
Tomorrow, a day of equal night and day, when the earth’s axis leans neither toward nor away from the sun, calls creation to celebrate something so natural yet so hard to maintain. Equality, a righteous term recognized by so many as an ideal to struggle for, that at times are obtained for a moment, and yet so hard to maintain.
In a time when welding power is so important, the moment of equinox is a reminder that holding power is fleeting at best. Today the light reigns, but the day after tomorrow the night grasps the longest part of the day. In the case of day and night, light and dark, equinox calls for a consideration that there is more to equality than how we might hear the word reign. Equinox calls for balance in equality. Longer nights than days is not dark holding power over light, but rather, a reminder there is wholeness to life with longer mornings and earlier evenings. Our busy, non-agricultural, non-hunting, non-gathering, non-fishing world, keeps too many of us from living the balanced lives day and night call us to enjoy.
The long days of summer call us to work long days and that work is natural and good. We miss though when the long days continue into the winter. As days shorten there is something bodily speaking to us to shorten our workday as well. A little more sleep in the morning, a little more time for conversation, games, and popcorn with our friends and family at night. Balance. A dream, maybe, for when we all go to work the day after tomorrow no one is going to say, “sleep a little more and come in a minute later” of “leave a minute earlier and spend that time with your family.” Instead the busyness of the world will demand the same of us tomorrow as it did yesterday. And yet it does not mean it has to be that way for our children’s children. Today we can speak to a deeper equality that pushes our world towards balance that pays attention to the fullness of creation, the give and take of night and day, the wonderfulness of hard physical work and the gloriousness of gentle rest. If we do, maybe tomorrow will hold more balance, more balance, and maybe a little more popcorn for our children.
© David B. Bell 2010