Slow changes with the seasons

It is not yet mid August but you can tell the turn of the earth. The days are getting IMG_7900.jpgshorter, and the air cools just a bit more at night. I know we are still due for many more hot days and muggy nights but today you can sense the coming of fall.

IMG_7877.jpgThe squirrels are out running around in my garden – taking bites out of tomatoes, digging and pulling things apart. The baby rabbits are now young teens and taking over the neighborhood in the early evening munching on what greens they can find. The trees are getting ready to seed. The oaks are dropping nuts on my head as I walk, the young maples are setting a round of helicopter seeds and it seems every weed in the garden has seed pods forming.

The world around us is preparing for winter. Everything is getting ready to shut down or hole up in the cold we have here in the northland. Cold will not arrive for a couple months but it is clear the preparations have begun.

I am watching the tomato plants daily hoping they will ripen before the first frost.    (I think we will make it this year.) The Lemon Yellow Squash is in mass production so IMG_7907.jpgwe are going to be eating those daily since I have no idea how to save them for winter. My carrots are slow to develop this year but the neighbors were planted earlier and now my crisper in the refrigerator is full of carrots. The time has come to freeze or can or find some way to store all this glorious food for the cold winter months ahead.

I am cutting herbs and freezing them, making pesto with the last of the basil and soon will me making hot salsa to keep us going in the cold.

These are the signs that show that fall is not far away. They are the end of summer tasks as I watch school busses go up the street learning the new routes for this year. The school supplies are out and a few schools are back in session.

This year my job is not to get ready for school but to prepare winter foods, and get ready for a “little guy” to come play with us. It is a funny feeling to watch the business of this time of year in the schools and be on the other side of it. I have been retired for 6 years now but this year I feel on the outside of all the activity. This year I have really stepped back.

Part of this being on the outside is I am not setting up a classroom with my daughter since she is working an admin. job this year. Part of this stepping back is I will care for her new son on and off this year. Part of this stepping back is I reduced my working hours at the school I have been helping. Part of this being on the outside is because it is time for me to fully retire and move on to other things.

The seasons turn slowly! There are small changes and steps that happen -seeds form, animals grow and begin to gather food, the angle of the sun shifts and it gets darker just a bit earlier every few days.  If you don’t watch closely the seasonal change can surprise you.

I think that happens to us as well. The changes in our lives – the change in the jobs we have or the changes as we retire or even the changes in our thinking. Each of these changes can come to us slowly and then suddenly we realize we are in a new place doing and thinking new things.

Changes in our life can take time, just like the seasonal changes but the workings of those changes have already started we just haven’t stop to notice them yet.

What changes are creeping up on you these days?

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to Slow changes with the seasons

  1. arjeha says:

    Life is about changes. Enjoy the new direction you life is taking.

  2. Fran Haley says:

    “You can tell the turn of the earth” – I love this phrase. It’s lyrical and true. I, too, have felt the whispers of fall in these dog days of summer. How well you capture the changes connecting one season to the next, literally and metaphorically. The photos are lovely and that last one – priceless!

  3. My favorite phrase from your post is: “baby rabbits are now young teens and taking over the neighborhood in the early evening.” It really made me laugh! I, too, have been watching my garden and the changes. My Monarch tags arrived today – so the next monarch I release will be tagged! It is always an exciting time at the end of summer. I started a new job in January but and still working through the changes. Recently, I have thought that I might need to consider joining my husband in retirement. You sound happy with your changes – happy for you!

  4. Ramona says:

    Wonderful words about changes. I love your 2nd paragraph. You’ll find nothing more invigorating than this new season of grandmothering. And that last pic is beautiful! Enjoy every precious moment with your little guy.

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