I know it is not a "recognized" holiday, not a quarter or cross quarter point... but the turn has made itself known here in the past few days and the garden bounty is pouring out, and I have a few moments today to spare so I am cooking a wonderful meal, using mostly stuff grown here and processed here, augmented by deer meat -- a gift from a new friend -- and a few boughten ingredients... and lifting one of the "last of the season" bottles of Sam Adams Summer Ale in toast.
That brewery has wonderful seasonal beers, and while their Octoberfest brew began arriving on shelves late last month, and while I know Octoberfest is actually celebrated in September, I will reserve that brew to toast the equinox in a few weeks. Meanwhile, the summer brew and the bounty of the late summer garden, are on tap today.
My second planting of beans started coming on strong last week, and yesterday I picked a shy bushel from HALF of the plants -- put by in the freezer for the winter -- with the remainder waiting for market on Thursday. My tomato crop has been poor (overrun with weeds and lack of water) but I processed a large bowl of the fruit into sauce for a coworker, augmenting it with my meager harvest, overripe fruit left from my partners offerings at market and the shared offerings of another coworker, so as to be able to split the sauce. I have a bag of early apples -- a "late summer" fuiit that says "fall" to me -- and some are in the salad tonight. A "mess" of green beans and zucchini lasagne (the veggie fills in for the pasta in an otherwise fairly traditional recipe with meat) round out the menu.
I guess this is why my spiritual practice is largely solitary... my celebrations, rituals, workings are prompted more by "when Spirit moves me" than by clock or calendar. This makes total sense to me, since the very genesis of my current path was the promptings of the world around me when I lived very close to nature and beyond the power lines. There were no books at all, no meetings with others, no human teacher ... until much later, after my practice had taken root.
I feel propelled to get the garden put to bed and the outside work done by the end of October. I feel the call to work inside (both inside myself and inside the house) that will follow. And, simultaneously, my mind springs ahead to the return of the growing season with the watermelon seeds drying on my counter, and thoughts of how the gardens will be laid out and planted next year. And so it continues.
But tonight, I give thanks... to the Powers That Be and to the Land upon which I stand for their nurturing and guidance.
So be it!
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