Seasons and Seasonings

Autumn is not the easiest season to discover new things on my daily walks around the property, I could have chosen springtime and there would have been an abundance of subjects. I chose fall simply because it is my favorite time of year, I was born in October and I love the colors, pumpkins, crisp air and the smoke from fire places that hangs low to the ground. As I walk around the property I have to look a bit closer to see the changes but they are there. There are little decorations of the seasons that nature displays for those who care enough to look a little closer.

At this time of the year the tall grass gets weighed down by the rains and heavy fog; the leaves begin to fall from the trees revealing sights that had been hidden just a few days before. Our property was heavily overgrown when we bought it a year ago and we have worked to clear areas for future grazing; as we do, we uncover little hints of the past and those who were here before. One of my favorite discoveries is a set of two old -growth Spruce stumps with the marks of turn of the century logging. When you investigate closer, you notice a number of younger trees of different varieties growing in and on these stumps. The circle of seasons have no start and finish, they continue to come and go bringing with them death and life, new growth and rotting leaves and it all has purpose and value. The seasons of our lives affect us in much the same way, they add the depth and enhancement much the same way herbs and spices do for our recipes.

Living with a Chef, we have a very large spice cabinet and an herb garden filled with a sweet smelling variety to garnish and enhance our meals. The smell of sage recently filled my home as the dehydrator dried out a bunch to save for winter. This process got me thinking, “Are the seasons of my life seasoning me for the better?”.  I honestly haven’t enjoyed some of the “dry” times in my life, sometimes I allowed them to make me bitter. There were other times I thought I would drown in a flood of tears during a particular hard season, it weighed me down so I struggled to pull myself up. Separately they often didn’t make sense but as I evaluate them as a whole, with the perspective of age and experience, I can appreciate the complex combination of seasoning that has brought the  unique flavor of my life. I have decided to appreciate the complexities of each season and be like the Spruce stump that allows the dead and rotten things to bring new growth and life.

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