Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rhythms of the Seasons

As we urban homesteaders continue to learn the skills of our forbearers we, too, learn a life in keeping with the seasons.  I think that is one of the nicest things about all the work involved in going backwards, it's rhythms and reasons are independent from all the assumed purpose and importance of modern living.  Not that we can or want to abandon the modern world (for lack of another phrase) but that the volume of it's singular logic is quelled by the logic and function of natural systems.

It has been a mere four years since I have tried to go backwards; since I started hacking up my yard, putting up my food and living further and further away from all the obligations and invitations of a summer removed from the harvest.  Funny to think what summer vacation was really about - helping with the sowing, growing and stowing of food for the winter or for market. All hands were needed.

And now, with those systems given to people and places we do not know we return to our backyards as a statement of intention to regain what was lost.  Clearly it is a herky jerky thing. We can or cannot do it.  We won't starve.  We won't be shamed by our neighbors or family for our sloth.  We have options, careers, educations, places to see and go.  We are international, transatlantic, traveling wunderlusters and Bali beach dwellers.  We are fire dancers and activists, anarchists and artists all expressing the beauty and pain of the world.  And we are urban now, almost entirely urban.  All on the grid getting our services and needs met by systems that used to make sense.   So going backwards is a balancing act at first.  We have better things to do.

But somehow the seasons, the budding and fruiting of things, keep coming and keep making a sense- a long eternal sense -that predates our modern intention. And it is that deep logic and rhythm that keeps me in the backyard planting and harvesting and putting up for the winter in some reverence and participation in a logic older then words.  

It is rainy this morning and one can feel the hush of winter coming forward.  Funny, the tomatoes are still green but they will come on as will the last of the summer vegetables.  I watch over them all and take inventory every morning.  And I love them all.  They have become me or I them.  Slowly the line is fading.  Like always I say I am more like a potato then a skyscraper.  Always I understand that I, we, were fooled into thinking we were more important then the soil.  

So this year I did not buy any cute summer dresses or strappy sandals.  And this year I did not sit out too often in a cafe at night with friends over cold beers or cocktails.  Rather we were in the garden enjoying the work of the summer days or still of the summer nights and making meals from the food we were growing and inviting in friends to sit with us in the quiet and never did I miss the newest place to be or thing to see.  I was too busy watching the grapes and berries and pears and apples and on and on and on and on making an appearance and then coming to full glory.  And now as I get busy with the harvest - putting up the beans and tomatoes and pears that are coming in full force and volume I walk in the rain and thank the natural world for the rhythm and logic I was always to busy to notice. 

No comments: