Harvest All Your Gains

imageIn all the travel I sort of missed the equinox shift into Autumn. Yet the season has changed once again and I’m thinking tonight of my harvest from the last twelve months.

I love the word harvest. It always suggests the return on all my efforts. All the things I’ve grown can be gathered and used. Even those things that haven’t quite prospered as well as I’d thought. I might have to rethink those things that didn’t grow at all, or went rotten or withered part way through the year. Yet each item is a source of potential for my future. I can plant again at the appropriate time and see if the conditions turn out to be better.

Today when I was getting yesterday’s blog live I was reminded of my grandparents on their farm. We visited in the late summer every year when I was a child. I loved the harvest work. Perhaps because I got to play in the haystacks or to ride on the tractor. Picking the vegetables to be stored or turned into pickles and chutneys. Gathering the fruit from the hedgerow for jam. It seemed as if Mother Nature wanted to give us all sorts of good things to eat. Of course I didn’t understand all of the work that went into producing crops.

Most of my childhood year was spent a long way from the farm. Many of the things we ate we got from shops. Harvest happened all the time as more and more convenience foods filled the shelves in my local shop.

I guess it’s a lot less easy to see the work involved in growing peas when you get them out of a tin can. It also means I can buy peas whenever I want without worrying if they are in season or not. With prepackaged food harvesting happens outside of any meaningful time. There is no sense of the clearing ground, planting, tending, watering and picking necessary to eat peas. So perhaps I miss the chance to appreciate all of that work too? The connection between the farm and the dinner plate is broken.

I feel that’s often the same with my life. If I don’t take the time to notice the shift from Summer to Autumn I might miss a chance to see where things connect for me. Some of my choices have prospered over the last twelve months due to my work on them. Some started from the wrong type of ground, with poorer seeds, or a lack of conviction. I know that I didn’t work with all of my choices as much as I could have. Some were planted before their time and suffered due to unfavourable conditions. One or two choices didn’t lead anywhere at all.

Still, I have managed to gather in a wonderfully fruitful combination of growth experiences. I have learned a lot about myself.

Recognising how and why I am different gives me a chance for more reflection. I can ponder what I want to plant for the next twelve months. It will be possible for me to choose those things that I feel offer the best of me out into the wider world. Also those things that are likely to get me growing a great harvest for next Autumn. Right now is also a time of gratitude and thanks. For the opportunities I have been given and the choices I’ve had. And for all the growing choices I have ahead of me. A moment to celebrate the timeless connection between my own growth and all that is around me.

Day 313 of my blogging challenge.