Harvest

A lovely walk to begin Autumn.

A lovely walk to begin Autumn.

Hello Everyone,

There I was, sipping on some hot peppermint tea to offset the cold, drippy day in Texas we all were experiencing, that is quite beautiful in many ways.  What follows are some of my thoughts.

In my mind, there is a still, calm that comes with the darkening of days that makes me feel nestled in nature more than any other time of the year.  I heard someone state on a classical radio station I listen to, that this weather is beautiful to her because we can really see the sheen and color of the newly turned leaves due to the grey sky.  As soon as I heard this, I grinned.  There is something special about being able to see creation or the potential for something wonderful amongst what could easily be considered drab, useless and ugly.

sunrise

My next thought was of a new friendship, but more importantly a comment made by my new friend.  She said–and I paraphrase–‘This is just another season of your life, Rachel, and you have to allow the season to come full circle, naturally.  Like any season, it too will pass.”  I have not been able to forget this simple thought ever since she made it.  What a brilliant way to think of the transgressions in our life, be it big life choices, hardships or good fortune.  She has helped to change my perspective on the idea of infinity and how it can become debilitating and growth stunting, but a better way to look at things is in passes.  Falling leaves that must make their way down on their own at the right time, during the right season.

deadleavesonthedirtygroundfall

What is more, the word harvest sprung to my mind.  Harvest has many meanings, however a couple stand out in my mind.  There is the idea of collecting of crops ripe enough to eat, this act being called harvest, and then the result of some action we take in our life.  As in, after writing on this site all year, I have an ample harvest of posts.  Why do I mention this?  When I think of the harvest of my life in 2013 I am able to come to realizations about what outcome or take-away I have for this year.  As it is Autumn, a time of rest and hibernation beginnings, my mind tends to drift into a still state, which allows me the fortunate ability to focus.

Houndstooth, Hi-tops and chords

Houndstooth, Hi-tops and chords

Our biggest life accomplishment–bigger than winning prizes, opening up businesses of our dreams, writing the next great novel or non-fiction piece, formal education of all kinds–is our body.  Our life has seasons, as does nature, and we have the gift of being conscious of these seasons and their beauty, but also the curse of being able to ignore such beauty.  Most of us spend our life hoping our life doesn’t result in a doggerel, and we forget that our body is the pith of our life.

I often forget that within these seasons, whether good or bad, I have the gift of my body and how I choose to use it, how I choose to nourish it, and I am in charge of this harvest more than all others.

What we eat, how we choose to go about getting the food we eat, the reasons and thought behind every bite we take, the community we share when enjoying our meals or the solitude we embrace in packaged food, all tattoos itself into our harvest.

SO, how can we all produce a better harvest from our body, our life?  I have a few thoughts, check it out!

  • Each month, take the time to figure out where at least one of the foods you eat regularly, comes from.  Do a little research.  Figure out where the specific item came from, be it local or farther away.  Figure out the process of how it was made, packaged, shipped, grown.  Discover its origin story and think about how it became a staple in your diet.  Then, ask yourself why you like eating it, what good–if any–it is doing for your body?  Then, at the end of this exercise, if you’re still content with the comestible, take the time to send a note to the manufacturer, farmer, company, individual who grew/made/shipped/packaged/created it.  Rest knowing you took the time and that is what counts.
  • Grow something and write about it.  Choose one fruit, vegetable, herb or spice to grow this coming year.  Get a head start now and talk with your local nursery or if you are a solo project kind of person, seek out your favorite online videos, articles, blogs and books.  Grow just one edible item from seed to full form and keep a simple diary about the process.  This doesn’t need to be anything too detailed or verbose, just simply the date and a sentence or two on the progress of the plant and your thoughts on being a part of the growing process.  If the plant is perennial, something like tarragon, you could document for just a short while or write about your experience with the growth for the years you are able to keep the plant alive, but if the plant is annual, try to understand the necessity of the plants peak moment and appreciate it while it is there.  This exercise could help with truly following through with growth and understanding the process of growth before consumption.  If you go wild and grow a lot of plants, pass one on to a friend or loved-one.  Spread your bounty!
  • Visit a farm.  At least once within the next year–you could get a head start this December–take a trip to a farm in your city or in a surrounding city.  If you’re feeling up to it, get out in the fields and help them harvest some of their crops, or take some photographs.  Chat with them about the different produce items that pop up each season and try to familiarize yourself with those.
  • Cut out or minimize at least one toxic thing from your diet this coming year and replace it with something yummy and nourishing.  Pay attention to how you feel.
  • Lessen your animal consumption.
  • Create at least one original recipe a month that includes a rainbow of colors and doesn’t include dairy or animal flesh.
  • Drink water and plenty of it.

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.  -Henry David Thoreau

WaitsFall

This list is not exhaustive, but certainly a start.  I know that it is easy to lose perspective on life–our body–with the myriad of things we have going on, but the goal is to help alter our mind so that we can start considering our body more, first.  These seasons, they are all influenced by how we perceive, how we feel and how our feelings either hinder or facilitate both good and bad for us.  If we’re to give thanks for anything, make it for the harvest of our life and all that nourishes the environment and our bodies.  I hope this list is helpful, and as you snuggle into your fall and winter weather, I would love to hear from you about actions we could all take to bring more  meaning to what we’re eating and create a better harvest of our life.  Let me know your thoughts below or send me an email.  I can’t wait to hear from you, and remember…bite responsibly!

Healthy Regards,

 

RAM

A colleague helped in the discovery of this gem!  A random share. :D

A colleague helped in the discovery of this gem! A random share. :D

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    […] crackers remind me of autumn , which reminds me of change, shorter days that lend to hibernation and strength in warming foods […]

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