“I hate change.” Hanne and I are wheeling back from the compost bin just before lunch.
“I LOVE change!” Hanne exclaims. Sometimes I wish that I, too, had a slightly stronger predilection for change and transition.
I remember this brief conversation that we had a few weeks back, with a smile and touch of nostalgia.
Remember those rainbow carrots we’d been waiting on? The first harvest of those guys happened last week! Sadly, it was also the week that school started, so I missed that glorious harvest day. But the important thing is… RAINBOW CARROTS!
This week, we harvested some pretty handsome komatsuna, green onions, and a big batch of beautiful beets! Amongst other fresh goodness.
Heart in my hands
Well, school has officially started, and that means that I’ll be at the farms less.
I’ve missed being at, working at, breathing in the farms. I miss working with my hands, chatting with the team and the volunteers and passerby from the community, ooo-ing and ahh-ing at the beautiful food (photographically, gastronomically, socially). I miss the friendly ladybugs who like to hang out with the head lettuce, I even miss them slimy earthworms that uncoil themselves from underneath a clump of soil when we’re weeding… (Well, I guess my goal at the beginning of the season to befriend these lil guys has been somewhat met!)
I’ve always been one to linger, to savour–delighting and finding a sort of refuge in routines and rhythms. I like to think about places, and people, and stories of the past. Often, too, I find myself wrestling with the tension between remembrance and regret. Why didn’t I appreciate so-and-so enough? Why did I take this-and-that for granted? I wish I had/had not/did/did not… If only I could be back in such-and-such a time when such-and-such happened… Why, I wish, If only… I hate change. I like constancy. Nostalgia is my middle name.
The leaves are changing colour, and the rains are falling.
Indeed, ‘tis a time of realignment for a new season.
At first, it was frustrating trying to adjust to a new schedule, new bus routes, new classes and new responsibilities. I just want to be back at the farms! A whole summer–four months, wow!–of being at the farms most weekdays is behind me, as I adjust to being back at school. (Last week was the first week back, and I was only able to go to the farm for a half-day on Friday. When I opened the container door and walked in… Whew! Never had I thought the smell of frass could be so pleasant…! After a week of sitting in lecture halls and flipping through copier-crisp syllabi, it was a welcomed and familiar smell for someone eager to get her hands dirty again.)
The season of September is always a time of transition.
As I pull out entire beds of old crops and weeds (Oh, hello, GRASS. So we meet again.), in preparation for the planting of some of our overwinter crops, I reflect on the constancy of change. Paradox? Perhaps. But one can learn much of the truth in this paradox by observing how the land goes through change, indeed is changing, all the time.
In cultivated spaces, various crops cycle in and out of the beds every week. Kale stumps out, lettuce seeds in… mustard stalks out, parsley transplants in… Now, as Fall is falling upon us (Thank you, thank you–I thought that one up myself!), as the weather gets colder and the day length gets shorter, and as metabolisms and energy levels sloooowly wind down into a state of resting, we are preparing for the wintertime. We planted the last parsley transplants of the season not too long ago, and soon the hoops and Reemay tunnels will be up (so that those overwintering crops will be kept warm and covered).
In the wild, the shifting of seasons is perhaps even more dramatic and continuous, sans the well-intending meddling of human hands. With the rustling of the wind, and the roaming and reaching of the animal and plant kingdoms, no two moments have the exact same landscape, or colours, or sounds.
Everything in nature pulses through change as if riding a lapping river current–smooth, peaceful, settled and sure. Seasons change every year; these patterns of change are so cyclic and rhythmic that they create a sort of constancy of their own. I am learning to stay in the flow; to be wise in my directional decisions, but to cultivate a heart at rest. At rest, regardless of the different routines, responsibilities, and rhythms that each day, and each season, brings. To realign myself.
I like constancy. And I am learning to like the constancy of change.
It’s a new season.