A little snapshot of some of the bounty that’s available in the Pacific Northwest right now (mid October): chicory root, elderberries, the last of the rowan (mountain ash) berries, curly dock seeds, juniper, and rosehips. It’s the time of year when the energy of the plants is going either into the fruits/nuts/berries/seeds, or back down into the roots. A gentle reminder to us to think about what we are putting into the world and what kind of energy we devote to that. Perhaps the fruits of your labors are starting to show, or perhaps this is a gentle reminder to plant the seeds for future bounty - with the understanding that some seeds lay dormant until they suddenly burst forth in spring. At the same time, let’s consider directing our focus inward and downward - getting grounded for the long winter ahead. This is a time of introspection, of self-care and building a solid base of community to make the long winter nights seem shorter.
One thing I love about foraging is that those quiet days out in the woods give you plenty of time to think and to notice the natural patterns around you. It’s taught me so much about being more in-tune with the energy of the seasons, from winter’s quiet introspection to spring’s bustling business. Fall is, of course, a time of bounty - a time to share and to store. It’s when we pack our reserves full to get us through winter, and I don’t just mean jam and pickles. Soak up those warm sunny fall days. Devote some time to your family and community. Relax into the quiet stillness that winter will be bringing. Do not dread it - rejoice in it! That gentle slowness is such an important balance to the rest of the year’s faster pace.
This Wednesday’s blog post will expand on this a bit, with a very special meal/ceremony to celebrate the shift from fall to winter. Be sure to check back and read it later this week! (And yes, I know the first day of winter is officially in December, but the snow is flying here in the mountains!) Have a wonderful fall day.