The signs are everywhere. Change is in the soon-to-be-frosty air. Winter is coming.
We’ve started putting to rest the garden. The last of the tomatoes are either eaten, canned, or in the dehydrator; the spaghetti and butternut squash has all been harvested and the gourds are sitting on my deck; all that remains are a few carrots, beets, and some rainbow chard. I’ll leave the root veggies for a few more weeks unless we get a hard freeze. The chard will likely come out in the next few days.
The pantry shelves are full of over two hundred jars of assorted preserves and the freezer is filled with salmon, halibut, and assorted fruits and vegetables. I get a little thrill–and a huge sense of accomplishment–every time I go into the storage room. More than once over the summer as I sat down at the end of the day to rest my aching back I thought ahead to the coming winter and felt a bit like the ant in the Aesop fable about the Ant and the Grasshopper.
Gerry donned his vest when he went out early this morning for a men’s meeting and I’m sitting here wearing a long-sleeved shirt because there is a bit of a chill in the house. We just enjoyed a lunch of smooth and freshly made butternut squash soup, I’m burning a pumpkin scented candle, and considering if I should start packing away my Capri pants. There is a low hum coming from outside as the landscapers are blowing out the sprinkler lines. Maya has begun sporting her dog-jamas as the nights get cooler. Yesterday Gerry had the snow tires put on the car.
As much as I enjoyed the summer–Oh the glorious heat of a Kamloops summer!–I’m embracing autumn. I’m anticipating Gerry and I taking day trips to capture images of the fall foliage with our cameras. We’re looking forward to going to see the spawning of the salmon in this, a dominant year of the run. I’m already appreciating making nourishing homemade soups and stews and spending cozy afternoons with my knitting projects.
I’m even looking forward to Old Man Winter showing up eventually–though I do hope he chooses to make a late appearance this year. This will be the first Canadian winter for us since we moved to Washington State in 2007 where we rarely had snow and I kept flowers in the yard all year round. There’s something comforting about knowing that this year when the arctic winds blow, as they’re bound to, we’ll be cozy at home watching the slow fall with a larder filled with food and no need to venture outside if we don’t want to.
I’m not Pollyanna-ish to believe that I won’t get sick of winter long before he loosens his tenacious grip though. I know I’ll join the multitudes bemoaning the cold weather and longing for the first signs of spring early in the new year. But for now, I’m remembering the summer fondly, appreciating autumn, anticipating winter, and remembering that spring will come again.
“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” ~Percy Bysshe Shelley