As the days shorten, nature begins those subtle changes that I love so;
the cooling weather adds a crispness to the air,
the turning of leaves to fluttering brilliance,
the autumn flowers so strong and bold compared to the delicate blooms of summer,
and the fruit ripening on the trees,
which bring an abundant harvest to our woodsy home.
Last week we harvested numerous boxes of apples from Nanny's trees,
culminating in over 100 quarts of lovely, sugar free, organic applesauce for the cellar.
This week, overflowing baskets and bowls gathered from backyard trees spill over,
filling the lodge with a sweet aroma of autumn.
A bushel of irresistible Italian Prunes
is soon to be made into a tantalizing sauce that our family is very fond of.
Perhaps because simple, familiar things are the dearest,
the fall harvest is supremely gratifying to me.
With Vivaldi ringing out
and the sticky sweet smell of pears permeating the kitchen,
I dive into a box full of pears for canning.
I find "The Four Seasons" perfect for pears.
Memories of canning together with family
mingle with shouts and laughter from the children playing outdoors.
What wondrous life is this I lead?
Plushy surrounded by an abundant providence,
a loving family,
a beautiful creation,
good fellowship and good food..
it is nearly too much- my heart feels as thought it might burst.
Settling in to my rocking chair on the porch, watching the last vestiges of the day,
I ponder the ways of canning, and think,
we are celebrating an heirloom craft: this preserving of bounty.
The thought lingers, and at the end of the day,
I am grateful
for that which we have made today which will deliciously fill our bellies come winter.
And until then, fill us grown-ups and children alike,
with the wonder of participating in something our great grandparents also held dear.
A harvest gathered and preserved
satisfies the heart and belly alike.