Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So THAT'S What Harvest Means?

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the browns and greens and yellows and oranges that scream from the trees.  I love that the days are still gorgeous and sunny but the nights and mornings are cool.  I love all things pumpkin ... pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies.  I troll social and recreation websites looking for harvest festivals and pumpkin farms.  I love that farms all over the place are bursting with fresh produce, and I can get some wonderful ears of corn.  When I stop to take a breath on a fall day, I find myself putting my face up towards the sun, closing my eyes, putting my head back and sighing a big, fat, happy sigh.  We've been to two harvest festivals and have purchased pumpkins from a farm already.  Fall makes me want to clean out my garage and my closets.  I want to organize my house and cook hearty meals for my children.  I want my house to smell like grapes and cinnamon and pumpkin.  [[I won't even mention my Halloween glee ... that's for another time.]]

I've been thinking about fall and the harvest.  Why is it that I feel at my best in the fall, when most of the rest of the world feels their best in the spring?  Feeling great in spring makes sense to me ... everything is coming alive after sleeping all winter, baby animals are born, flowers bloom.  Fall is the opposite ... plants are dying and trees are going dormant, animals are getting ready for hibernation, people are gathering supplies for the long cold winter.  I looked up "harvest" in my Synonym Finder.  As a noun, harvest means the crop, the product, the yield, the output.  Clearly, I love "harvest" if I get all excited about pumpkins and corn.  As a verb, "harvest" means to reap, to gather, to collect, to acquire, to secure.  I like to do those things, too ... but it seems like I do the exact opposite in the fall; I clean things out and throw things away.  And then I thought, maybe I like to clean and organize because I'm getting ready for the reaping, gathering, collecting, acquiring, and securing.  So then I wondered ... what is it that I, a suburban working single mother, expect to reap, gather, collect, acquire or secure in the coming months? Duh.  ALL THE STUFF I LOVE!  Time with my kids, as it gets dark early, too cold to play outside, and sports and activities take a break.  Candy at Halloween.  Food at Thanksgiving.  Gifts at Christmas. A fresh start at New Year's Day.

Harvest has a new meaning for me, Synonym Finder be damned.  For me, harvest is the beginning of a time of gluttony for me!!  It's the hap-, happiest time of the year ...

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