As a child, I was not an enthusiastic practitioner. In Northern Ireland, the question was not whether you went to church, but which church you went to. I would try any trick to get by, but I loved the festive services, especially the harvest festival.
I was in the choir so I had to have a new dress for it – the excitement in itself – but the way the church was decorated for harvest time, the altar covered in apples, pears, walnuts and breads (if there was a good baker in the congregation, you could get egg glazed French toast shaped like a sheaf of wheat) and red and orange flowers, was beautiful.
Celebrating food made sense to me – service was about fields, gardens and orchards; you could almost feel liberated – but all the rules and talk about sin? Not really.
Going to a harvest festival service seems almost antiquated now, but the words “autumn” and “harvest” create such a deep sense of peace within me, it warms my whole body. It’s always been my favorite time of year. Back to school marked a fresh start and a schedule that spanned not just the school day, but the whole week, both at home and in the classroom.
I never got rid of it, even though it’s been years since my life has been divided into terms. I loved the summer days at the beach and the exhilarating freedom of the weeks off, but July and August were prime times for voracious book reading; It was in September that you started – even better – to study them.
Although I grew up in the countryside, school nature walks started at the end of September. It was about looking and noticing as well as collecting material for the nature table. Picking brambles, picking up turning leaves or mismatched feathers, breathing the moist air, all of that mattered.
The first meal I invite friends to when fall arrives is always meaningful. It’s my own little harvest festival. It’s never quite as casual as a summer meal, I usually push the boat out and certainly spend a lot of time planning what we’re going to eat. Hello pumpkins – how I’ve missed you – and you too, sleeping fat-bottomed pears.
More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-10-29 06:49:40