Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Grateful Gathering

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Autumn: The only season of the year that has two names. Why it is also known as Fall is a mystery to me. Spring forward Fall back? The Falling leaves? My dictionary gives many meanings to the word but only one that simply says "autumn." It seems a strange word for this time of year. What does it mean? Dropping down to a lower level? The loss of innocence? Toppling over and hitting the ground.? Pinning your opponent to the wrestling mat?

I think a much better nickname for the season is The Gathering. It's the season of harvest, of bringing into the storehouse what has been sown in the Spring and nourished through the Summer. Nature is pulling back into herself the sap of the trees to let them sleep and dream of Spring. It is the time to take stock of the results of last Spring's vigorous ambitions. It's the time of the coming together of families to celebrate. In the northern farm communities it's the time to amass the fuel for the Winter and enough feed for the livestock. It's the season of shopping for the holidays and bringing home the gifts you're going to give. It's the time to shake out the blankets and quilts and to make sure your children have the boots, coats, hats, scarves, mittens and all the gear they need for the cold weather to come. And, yes, it's time to go out and catch the precious leftover rays of sunshine.

Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn. The Sleeping, The Waking, The Growing. The Gathering. The busy joyous evening of the year.

DB - The Vagabond


Joann said...

I LOVE AUTUMN!!! (Or Fall, whatever!! LOL!!) This is my FAVORITE time of year. Although, we're having an EARLY winter. Winter is still two weeks away... and we're at 39 degrees tonight already. This is REALLY COLD weather for us... I love it, but it IS cold... we turned on our heater today. We hadn't had it on yet, since last winter.

Gerry said...

I always thought fall referred to the time when the leaves fall which had a kind of significant message, harbinger of winter when if you are going to hibernate in any way, that will be the time to do it, when it is too cold to be out and about. We don't have many changes here to indicate the change of season but the many leaves do fall off the trees which are bare for the winter months. That's about all that reminds me of the changes in colder climes. So even in desert country leaves fall to signal winter's sleep. I find I have more emotion about what happens to the leaves than I do about the harvest, because harvesting the crops was always so much work in farm country. Picking up and sacking the potatoes for example Groan. I sure was glad I did not live in potato country! Country farm work was where I first experienced chronic fatigue. Perpetually bottling. Fall was bottling the meat. Another terrible groan, could be worse than summer bottling. Meat had to be pressure cookered the longest of any thing. Heck we hardly even bothered about raking the leaves, there was so much else to do. Give me the leaves.

Wes said...


You have written another wonderful entry. The words are well put and true. I will try to read the rest soon. I do hope life is kind to you my friend and that you enjoy this "Gathering".


Linda's World said...

I love the seasons too but the older I get, the more appealing is the thought of living in Arizona in the winter months. It was 14* here this morning at 8am. Linda in WA

Trees said...

Autumn to me is the time when God paints his masterpiece, where can you find more brilliant colours on a canvas of natures making. I loved the term "Gathering". I can understand that so well. Also, though I can understand the term Autumn, not so much so Fall, but as the leaves fall from the trees and we prepare for natures sleep, we know that this is a process which we must go through, in order to again see spring bring to life all of God's beautiful plants and trees. Indeed also the planting of vegetables from which we find sustenance. Although, I like the word Gathering the best, I can see the reason for the word Fall, does not hold as much appeal as Gathering.

Arlene (AJ) said...

Know why we get along so well as computer friends, Autumn has always been our favorite season. We even got married in autumn, nothing more beautiful then seeing the changing of the leaves. Loved the term "Gathering" also, a very touching read, dear.