“If we want to succeed in our dearest aims, and hopes as people we must understand that we cannot proceed any further without standards, and we must see that ultimately the standards are not set by us, but by nature.” Wendell Berry
I am of nature.
Today, I stand in the garden watching the day warm up around us-astonished that the weather has held up so long. I am grateful, it would be difficult to stand outside on this November day in the cold and dig into the soil. It makes our conversation feel more alive as the sun slowly warms us. We clear beds and overwinter them, plant garlic and onions. We talk about our winter projects that will allow us to be inside during the cold months.
This is the rhythm of the garden. It asks you to go in. You can witness it’s voice in the crops that still stand boldly: the firm, deep greens of kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and collards; the carrots and beets that hide their bountiful energy beneath the ground. The tender lettuce lay beneath a white cloak of remay. I enjoy seeing the golden patches form on the landscape as we spread out straw across the beds. A blanket for winter.
This is the law of the land.
This past weekend we celebrated Halloween and The Day of the Dead. Our ancestors understood that this was the time of year to honor those who had passed, and in our own blood filled ways we shall also go into a living rest. Our bodies slow down, and if one listens you may find yourself craving the cradling warmth of soup. Soups that echo the autumn leaves with carrots, beets, and winter squash. It is a golden age this coming into winter.
I think about other holidays that I personally celebrate during the winter: Thanksgiving and Christmas, and part of me is lifted as I think of this inward journey with winter. I suddenly realize that there is so much to be discovered in this gentle coming to rest-as these holidays inherently honor love and kindness.
Winter is the season of the heart, look inside my dear, and you shall find what you are made of.