Joy in the Age of Anxiety

Did you notice how sweet and juicy the peaches were this year?  They tended to be small but so intense.  And the tomatoes?  Plump and full of redness, just waiting to be sauced.  (I have discovered an old Italian recipe in which sauce and pasta cook together in one pot.  It’s genius!).  And the corn that was sweet and crisp, dripping with buttery salt, and the newly ripened apples, so hard and shiny, delicious with cheese?  And don’t forget the pears, my personal favourite, so soft they drip when you slice them open and let their fragrance spill out?  I love this time of year best of all.  It’s Autumn – the period from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice.

It’s the time when the trees begin to flame orange or yellow or red and the damp earth smells rich and complex with fallen leaves.  Up high, the birds swirl together in dark clouds as they prepare to leave us and cooler air circulates at night, reminding me to get out my feather duvet so  I can snuggle under its the warmth.   Sweaters and gloves must be removed from their summer hiding places in order to withstand the crisp chill of morning air.  Soup bubbles intensely as it simmers for hours on the kitchen stove.  All our senses are engaged.  We are in the lingering transition of summer to winter…

And I recall my all time favourite quote which is by Northrop Frye, that great Canadian literary figure; he once wrote:  “Heaven is this earth, to the awakened imagination”.  And so it is.

I am glad to be alive.  I hope you are too.

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