Seasons

Some people prefer to live somewhere that has obvious seasons; hot summers, dramatic fall foliage, cold and snowy winters, and a clear shift to spring. On the west coast of Vancouver Island, the seasonal shifts are more subtle. I prefer that, because to me it is symbolic of how our human lives change.

We are born, live and then die. It doesn’t make any difference whether you are a human, a goldfish or an armadillo; the sequence is the same and the end is inevitable. The birth and death stages are usually pretty brief, and sometimes dramatic. The living stage is more subtle. Humans in North America generally live for seven or eight decades. The changes in our lives and bodies are more gradual, like the seasons on our farm.

We already have leaves on the ground and fall crocus in the flower beds, yet there are snap pea seedlings in the garden and tiny lambs in the barn. It is getting cooler in the evenings; that can mean the end of the peppers, but the lettuce prefers it and puts on a brief growth spurt. Sometimes, summer tries to hang on with warm, dry stretches into September and October. Gradually, though, the garden slips into fall.  Flowers fade, vines wither, and the strawberry plants take a nap.

Fall brings a different scent to the air. Mushrooms begin to appear as the moisture returns to the soil. The creek awakens and the waterfalls begin to splash and dance again. The fall frog chorus fills the forest with music, accompanied by the swish and crackle of tumbling leaves and fir cones.

The foliage isn’t very dramatic, and there are no blizzards looming in our future, but the seasonal shift is slowly gliding over us. Enjoy the season, whatever it is.