We had storms pass through here last night, and we received another 2.5 inches of rain. The sun just emerged on this late summer morning, and we are expecting a warm day. The sun will help the late season peppers and tomatoes ripen faster. More trees are displaying their autumn array of colors, and it always seems that September flies by so fast for me. There is always so much preparation in September on the farm from harvesting and field work to storing food for winter. Also, I return to the class room, and while I work much of the summer in and with my classes, when the main group of students returns in the fall, my days fill up with activity very quickly. I like the pace of autumn, and I love the mornings filled with solitude.
This time of year, the farm team comes to work a little later. Some have returned to school and some have children in school. That means that for the first few hours of each day, I am alone. Being alone is a treat in the summer. It usually involves me making some excuse to accomplish some solo task in the field. Weeding is one of my favorite tasks. I thoroughly enjoy hand pulling weeds in the middle of a 40 acre isolated field with nothing but the wind and nature as my companions. The risk for me, is spending too much time doing that, and ignoring other pressing work. Still, I try to steal away every now and then for some solitude. In the autumn, when nature is beginning to slow her pace, I am afforded some time for introspection.
During these moments in the fall, I can look back and assess my season. Truthfully, I look back further too. I examine my life before returning to the present. Living in the present is the most important, but occasionally I need to wander through the rural avenues of my brief but valuable time that I have been granted in this world. When I examine the season, I see that there were many events that were beyond my control. I did two things that all students of life do. Firstly, I reacted to these unforeseen events with the best tools I had available at the time, and secondly, I learned something about myself and about the situation, and I added more tools to my arsenal.
Perfection is for the gods. Seasons, like our lives, will never be perfect. Further, like my life, I wouldn’t trade any of my challenges or heartaches because even if I didn’t realize it at the time, I needed them in the moments of my season when they occurred. I needed drought to appreciate the rain, and I needed floods to appreciate the sun. Loss teaches me to love who is in my life, and love teaches me that even in the face of adversity, there is always a shelter in the storm. I wouldn’t have easily recognized that if I had not been in the storm in the first place.