I’ve been walking a lot outside during these few weeks before the rains hit. Already the fog has poured into the gap between sky and tree tops in the morning. But then it lifts by noon, back to the clear blue sky. This long stretch of sun has all of us crossing our fingers, knowing it won’t last, and by now, when you read this, the rain will be plinking against our roofs, our windshields, our blinking eyes if we dart across the parking lot without an umbrella.
And so I’ve been taking a lot of walks outside. Yesterday I collected a handful of acorns, rolling their smooth brown bodies between my fingers, and some helicopter seeds, like a wing broken from a butterfly. I put them in a jar and set it on my desk.
This is the season of waiting. Waiting as the last leaves float from the oak trees, the last sparks from fall’s fire put out by wind and rain. Runners and walkers at Bush Park slip their hands in gloves, pull their fleece hats over their ears. We’ll sit by the window, tea warming our fingers and palms, and watch as the ground softens, opens, the seeds spilled from summer’s harvest disappearing back into the earth.
There is some apprehension in my walks as I watch the leaves float to the ground. Soon the trees will stand stark against the black blue sky at 5 pm. I’ll be pulling extra blankets around me at night. Maybe this is why our bodies crave fat in the narrowing days of fall and winter. It’s not just for warmth, but for security. Ayurveda teaches that the function of fat is that of the “bonded, secure love Staff Favorite Holiday Recipes Inside relationship,” which provides us with stability and warmth. Not only do our bodies crave fat, but we also crave relationships, wrapping our families around the dinner table, our hands holding in Thanks Giving.
In this season of dormancy, where cold temperatures keep the seeds waiting underground, I keep the acorns and helicopter seeds on my desk. All their potential for life is there, wrapped within, waiting. Waiting until the earth warms again, the shell splits open, and the roots stretch out. But until then, we wrap ourselves. And we Give Thanks.