Is it fall?  Maybe. 

pole beans kitchen garden
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swiss chard kitchen garden

It certainly is fall in calendar months.  I’m especially reminded it is so after that shot of rain last week that blew through our yard, coming in waves of drizzles and mists.  Yellow maple leaves lay all about on rather unkempt green grass.  The sun’s heat can’t be counted on.

 

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Is it fall?  Maybe.  There is a definite feeling around the place saying fall.  A knowing that change is occurring all around us. 

Or maybe fall is an excuse for spiritual resurfacing amongst the physical change.  As we start to collect vegetables and other pantry stores for the winter, I'm thinking a lot about what is enough, what is abundance, where we want our grounding place to be.  

 

Marking that place can be a constant task.  This person that I am, I am coming to realize and embrace, will be a paradox of neatly aligned corners and a tumultuous mix of interests, emotions, and experience overlapped.

 

shelling beans fall

Every May I look at my garden.  Every August I look at my garden. 

In May, it is spare, flat and black.  A space yearning to be moulded and filled.  Cold fingers shove seed into the ground.  A merciful hoe foregoes those volunteers that come springing up.

In August, the same space, through the miracle of heat, rain and time, is transformed into this wild place.  Dill awns out in the midst of corn and peas.  Squash and pumpkin, some planted in neatly spaced hills in May and others coming up voluntarily through the raspberries and peppers, carpet everything.  The sunflowers are beginning to bend and brown, readying themselves for the finches and chickadees that come hurtling into to their seedy offerings.  Volunteer tomatoes have heartily overcome carrots.  It’s full on chaos.  But yet, each plant has its value and together, there is beauty.  The pole beans with their improvised tree tripods, the corn, the tomatoes all add height while bush beans, peppers, eggplant ( I finally was able to have an eggplant grow in my garden this year!), tomatillos, broccoli and brussell sprouts splay out, covering the rich soil.  

 

However, the soil underneath remains the same.  Without it as a beginning, an open space for growth, August’s crazy plant world would not be.

savoury kitchen garden slow living

My garden reminds me of what's often happening to me.  Trying so desperately to be productive, organized within boundaries while constantly fighting the encroachments of space and time that happens with a multi-faceted life, to make space for family, community and faith.

And so keeping myself as the little model of what life is, I have become entranced with thinking about what we should be striving for and what that looks like for us.  Which things are the important ones?  

Community, good friends and family are immediately obvious. They are constantly calling out and drawing me in.  Yesterday, as my littlest was on a day off school, we went down winding roads to a friend's for coffee.  

After school, with the warm sun still cruising overhead, my eldest girl and I set about to fit her saddle to her new horse.  We call him the giraffe but he's actually an old gentlemen, the sweetest of souls.  A quick little ride in the paddock with cats walking the rails and grain trucks trumbling by.  Chats with her in the grass, as we brushed old Jack , about school and schoolmates.

And then, in the evening, more visits with another friend at the local coffeeshop.  

I went to bed feeling grateful and smiling at that day's conversations.

  

kitchen garden intentional living

And so community, family, friends and faith, they become a few guidestones in this sprawling busyness of life, however tangled and messy it may look.

These things in life reach through it all, and become obvious necessary components of life.  For me, that abundance and simple foundation of enough is faith, family and nature.  Without those, I have nothing.  I am nothing.  They are me, I am a reflection of them and they, not in whole, are a reflection of me.  They are my abundance. 

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