Saturday, October 02, 2010

I realized today that I don't actually dislike fall. Maybe that sounds silly so let me clarify. To me, fall carries with it the end of summer and the impending winter. That just makes me sad. I've always blamed fall but I guess it's really not it's fault. It hasn't helped this year that most of September (and July and August!) was cloudy, rainy and just downright cold here in Calgary. I haven't really enjoyed fall. Most years, it seems to mean the start of a whole new level of busyness too. School starts, programs kick in and people are back at work and so traffic increases. So long gone are those summer days, the days I love.

Today, however, I found, while looking at the positives, that there are some things to be enjoyed about fall.

Perhaps it was because today was actually 28 degrees and we were able to lay sod in my back yard. Or maybe not. I feel like this has been brewing for a couple weeks.

I love those sunny fall days (and they don't have to be 28 although that really does help) where the sun is shining, it smells crisp and fresh and the colors are incredibly vibrant. Not all fall days need to be cold, rainy, overcast and dismal, especially in Calgary. The sun still shines. The sky is still blue. The colors are beautiful. I feel like, on those days, my camera should be nearly attached. There are so many moments to capture the beauty of what God has created in the fall.

One of my favorite fall photos - a shot from just outside of Vernon a couple years ago.

I've felt so many of those moments lately. Last weekend I drove to Edmonton for a family thing. The whole drive there was a chance to reflect on the changes of nature brought on by the changes of season. I went for a walk along fish creek yesterday with a friend and was amazed at the beauty all around me. Each kind of tree does it's own thing, the animals react differently and the air has a peculiar feeling reserved only for this time of year. This morning, we drove out of the city to pick up the sod and I was again amazed and thrilled by all that is fall.

It's not that I have never noticed it before it's just that today I really noticed it. Today I felt it. Today I appreciated it for what it is in a while new way.

I'm not just about the weather either. A couple weekends ago I was able to take advantage of the harvest. Peppers, peaches, plums and apples filled my kitchen. I felt a little like a less criminal version of Martha Stewart as I chopped, diced, canned and preserved.

My canning pot at work!

I made up a couple batches of hot pepper jelly, apple sauce, apple pie filling, canned peaches and a delicious plum vanilla preserve, all canned and ready to be warm treats during the cold winter ahead.


Plum-vanilla preserve, apple sauce and hot pepper jelly

My mom does tons of this stuff every year and I have always appreciated the love that goes into it and the presence of those jars of goodness all winter long. I'm not sure why it has taken me until this year to really get into the swing of things but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've got a couple other recipes and bundles of produce just waiting...

The farm kid in me seems to come alive in the fall. I love driving out of the city and seeing the harvest play out. Rows upon rows of swaths creating a maze in the fields. Combines blowing and churning through them. Hay and straw bails littering the fields. Farmers' markets take on a whole new life. And there's the vegetables!! Pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, onions... I miss having a garden!!

I guess what I'm learning is that there is so much to be appreciated when you really anything, but right now I'm thinking about the seasons. Summer will always be my favorite but I think that fall, with all that it offers, may actually be coming in a close second. Yes, there's good things all around. I may have to be reminded about that when winter hits. I might have to start thinking now to find them. Or perhaps I'll just keep finding more things to enjoy about fall.


Cody and Nicole said...

I echo your sentiments! Fall can be so great. My plan for next year is to learn how to can things! Perhaps you can teach me :)

Stacey Sparshu said...

I would LOVE to teach you :)