There’s been a definite shift in the air. In the span of a week, we went from warm, lulling breezes with the leaves falling one by one to blustery gusts of chilly wind with the leaves tumbling out of a gray sky. Late fall is upon us. I’m typically not one to really enjoy this time of year. I love being busy on the farm and working late days with my friends and the farm cats in the warm hug of summer and I get nervous about the cold, short days. But I respect the cycle. And like with any cycle, each part has a purpose. Since we crossed the autumnal equinox, the days have been getting shorter and shorter until one day when we’ll reach the winter solstice, the peak of darkness. This is the time of year when the inner rhythm of nature, as well as our bodies, starts to slow down. We crave cozy spaces, with warm comforting nourishment. We move from outside to in, in order to recuperate and refill our wells of energy. As does the farm.
The farm has been continuously generous throughout the spring, summer, and early fall. Now is the time to let it fall into a brief repose before beginning again next year. As we prepare the fields for winter, we slip into more of a planning phase. The farm lessens its grip on our time and slows down the rate at which it acts as a beacon sending up a bat-signal for help and attention. We can now divert our attention to other projects that need doing. We’ve already started the process of boosting our cooler room into a properly functioning cooler and will continue to make improvements elsewhere. Though we may not be seen as often out in the field as we would be all summer long, we’ll continue to be on the farm in a mental capacity as well as spirit. We shift our outpouring of energy from the physical to more mental as we prepare for the next growing season as well as the growth of the farm itself. Throughout the winter, the farm will continue to produce crops just at a slower pace. Because of this, it’s important to come together this time of year to share the bounty of the year and work together to get through the doldrums of the winter season.
It’s with this in mind, that we go into the holiday season. We spend these days of thanksgiving by sharing with our neighbors and providing for our community. Though we may not be able to be as physically close to our loved ones this year, it’s still important to remember what the farm can teach us about this time of year. Slow down, respect your own limits, and provide for others where you can. The farm always has lessons for us - sometimes we just need to slow down to see them.