I take comfort in the changing of seasons. The earth's heartbeat causes vegetation to bud, bloom, fade, and then blow to the ground as sudden as a burst of wind. Comfort exists in knowing it will happen again in due season - as brilliant and bountiful as before.
Autumn is the culmination of all that has been pushing forth since spring. A fantastic feeding of fruits, grains, and vegetables that have come to fruition - fully formed and formidably flavorful.
My fall favorites for feasting? Baked goods made with Wisconsin apples and snacks comprised only of Wisconsin cheese.
Therefore, when autumn comes to Iowa that means it is time for our family to visit neighboring Wisconsin to stock up on ... what else? Apples and cheese. I think of it as our fall forage; my sons and husband think of it as "Mom will soon celebrate Pie Baking Day." This purely personal holiday occurs once (sometimes twice) a year with the date and time unknown other than this: It will most certainly happen on a Saturday or Sunday after we have gone to Gays Mills and Mt. Sterling for apples and cheese.
We took our annual trip today; so sometime soon - when the mood strikes me - I'll begin to peel, mix, fold, roll, and bake at least three to five apple pies with perhaps a pumpkin and a pecan provided for variety.
This annual autumn tradition began - for me - when I was a child. For Mark, it began the year we were engaged, and for the boys, the first fall of their respective births. This was the first year Skye didn't come along with us; and while he was missed, Mark and I knew his absence is part of that inevitable pulling away. He has experiences he wants to live that are separate from us. That's good. That's inevitable. Yet I also believe it is inevitable that part of him will always be called to cross the Mississippi River each fall to forage like his family has for decades.
Our family is back together tonight, and Skye couldn't wait to eat an apple cider donut and then munch on fresh cheese curds, listening to their freshness squeak in his mouth. Those experiences are part of him; I believe they will always call to him each fall when the days grow shorter, the air gets cooler and the land looks richer in a harvest-sort-of-way.
That's as it should be. We grow older. We teach our children what we choose to from all that our parents taught us, then our children choose what they will pass on to their children. But all in due season. I take comfort in that.
May what ripens for harvest in my son's lives be a culmination of only the best of all that has come before - only the best of my good fruits, brilliant and bountiful.
Amen. May it indeed be so.
P.S. Tina Schroyer Berg - It was so good to run into your family and to know that you, too, enjoy spending a glorious fall day (sunny, crisp 50º weather) together. Hunter looks like both you and Jim, but I think he especially favors you! Yay, North High class of ... (Well, you know. I don't need to say.) I hope you don't mind being featured in my vlog. I thought it was so fun that we just kept crossing paths!