Jack Frost has been busy painting on the homestead lately. This morning I noticed the first condensation on the windows (yes – we need new windows) and frost on the grass. The leaves on our beans are starting to shrivel and my warm weather plants are done for the year. The pigs feasted on the remains of squash and melons the bugs and field mice nibbled on as well as the vines. They seemed quite happy with their breakfast salad.
As we continue into the dark half of the year, my thoughts turn inward. I wonder what I accomplished during the light half of the year. Was it enough? What time did I squander? What time did I use wisely? There’s another list. Can you tell I like lists and grids? Putting pen to paper makes it real. Once I make the list, I stew on it for a few days and then – I BURN IT! A small cast iron cauldron, rubbing alcohol for a cool flame and my list. I feel like Mickey Mouse in Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – minus the cleaning mishap! Burning the list is cathartic. I’m tougher on myself than others. I know what I screwed up on and start looking for tomorrow.
Once that paper is burned, I start looking to tomorrow. What do I want to accomplish when the sun is reborn on the Winter Solstice – the light half of the year? I need to start planning now. For me that with prepping the gardens to be tucked in for the winter. Planting garlic bulbs, pulling whatever remains, building new raised beds and repairing old beds. Mulching, fertilizing, and laying down plastic to smother weeds that will sprout in the spring where I’d rather they not. I also do my final count on hay and scramble if I don’t think I have more than enough. Do I have winter grain? Dear reader, what are you doing now to plan for tomorrow? A quick peak into my pantry – what do I need to have more of next year? You get the idea…
I imagine that my ancestors might have had the same thoughts, the same dreams, the same fears. I feel it most when I look up to the dark skies on crisp fall nights. Surely they must have done the same thing. Looking forward to the day when the sun is reborn in the sky is the mark that they’ve made it through dark winter and the light is slowly returning. But more on that later.
What’s done is done and put away for tomorrow. Now is the time to plan. Now is the time to feast and now that….
There’s always tomorrow
For dreams to come true
Believe in your dreams, come what may.
There’s always tomorrow
WIth so much to do
And so little time in a day.
~ “There’s Always Tomorrow” from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Next Post: Fall Garden Prep