Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns. – George Eliot
I trust in nature for the stable laws of beauty and utility.
Spring shall plant and autumn garner to the end of time. – Robert Browning
In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy. – William Blake
I love this time of year. I love the musky, cidery smell in the air, the sunny days that have just a little bite to them, the gold and crimson in the leaves, and the gathering of the harvest. There’s a huge satisfaction in bringing in the harvest and squirreling stuff away for winter, isn’t there? I feel a connection to the generations of peasant ancestors that came before me, and to the world that gifts us with the seasons and earth’s bounty. I feel connected to Life.
Last July, being the cheapskate I am and not wanting to spend a whole lot of money on a factory-made arbor, I asked my son – the engineering student – if he would design and construct an arbor for my grape vines from the flotsam and jetsam we have stashed away around our property. With an old gate and four posts he found in a pile of wood, the son and his friend built a really cool grape arbor for me. I wove the vines into the mesh of the old gate at the top of the arbor and awaited developments.
Soon clusters of little grapes were beading on the vines. And then, in due time, the beads became full-fledged grapes – ripe and purple and ready for harvesting.
And yesterday it was time to turn the grapes into my very first ever batch of grape jelly! Et voila! Behold…
Yup. I made the grape jelly glowing in the morning sunshine in the jars on my kitchen counter. Aren’t those jars beautiful? I look at those jars of jelly with a kind of awe. That jelly came from the grapes that grew on the arbor my son built for me.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. – Genesis 1: 29
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. – Matthew 8: 22
(all photos by Karen Molenaar Terrell)