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Coming in from the fields

Coming in from the fields

In agrarian societies such as rural Ireland, the harvest time was and is a time of bringing in from the fields all that’s been growing there. You truly reap what you sow.

Some prefer the word Autumn to describe this season. I like to call it Autumn. For some reason, I love saying autumnal. Saying the word aloud sounds as it is…full and rich. Another term in even more common parlance for this season (Fall) refers to the falling of the leaves from the trees. And, you may have heard the phrase “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

On a recent road trip to go apple picking, I visited a small (9-acre) farm and walked their orchard. An abundance of apples were scattered on the ground beneath each tree. Nature naturally (pun intended) knows when to release the fruit once the stems gradually loosen their grip, and the fruit becomes too heavy for the stem to bear. Gently, the tree releases its ripened fruit. So, somewhat to my surprise, I found the apple picking excursion to be more of an apple collecting venture. I did reach up and nudge a few apples from some of the trees into my basket. What stood out for me most, however, was the subtle, refreshing fragrance of the apples wafting in the air as I walked the paths between and among the trees. I felt a certain kinship with the apples and the trees, and thanked them for their gifts.

Whilst in a poetic mood, I leave you with a poem by John Keats that so lovingly captures the splendor of the season:

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
        To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
        For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
    Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
        Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
        Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
    Among the river sallows, borne aloft
        Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
        And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

For your consideration:

As is often a theme here on Soul Notes, I ask you to take a moment to consider the lessons that nature teaches us, with each passing season. This Autumn, what are you releasing this season from your proverbial tree?  What are you collecting in your basket?  Any surprises?

Okay, your turn:

Share what are you harvesting. What are you bringing in from the fields? What is your bounty?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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