Saffron, turmeric, cocoa, dried chili, burgundy, balsamic, nutmeg, salmon, key lime. Those are the colors of fall on the farm right now. I think this may be simply the most beautiful fall that I have ever experienced since moving to Oklahoma. The landscape that fills my eyes each day is staggering especially when I watched the orange harvest moon rise as the sun sets behind the fields and trees of such loud brilliant color.
There was talk that because of the drought all the leaves on the trees would just turn brown and drop off offering us no fall colors this year at all. Boy, they couldn’t have been more wrong. On my small front porch where I sit to take on and off my work boots, I face a tree that I’ve watched turn from green to the deepest burgundy I’ve ever seen, and right beside it is another thee with saffron leaves. It’s a surprise that I get any work done at all. I get to drink as much of it in as I can. I waste no moments. I watch with awe and wonder and feel like I have been awarded the most wonderful prize ever given.
Rarely do I ever see a church reader board that I think is worthy of ready let alone thinking about, but the other day I saw one that said "Live within your harvest" Wow. This was a baptist church. Who knows what they meant by that, but to me it almost had a Pagan tone to it rather than biblical one. I had a sense that it meant living within ones means, but for me it really does apply in the literal form. Live within my harvest. Yes. That is the sacred place. The place of peace and rest.
These beautiful trees are my cohorts, they are my companions. My work day is spent working amongst them within their boundaries and protection. Even though I spend many days here at the farm alone I never feel lonely. I look up and around in between bunching radishes or turnips and I see the world around me and the beauty of it gives me a sense of belonging and comfort, like that big ol’oak just patted me on the back, and that hickory encourages me to go just a little further. That sumac is just as impressed with herself as I am, and it goes like that. I feel like I am surrounded by good friends and family and I am happy, deeply happy. So happy I wonder if I might be going mad. But I don’t let a thing like that bother me if madness is what this is then let it be.
I love being on my knees in between rows of green crops. Pant legs scuffed and damp with mud, pulling up one fat turnip after the next, brushing of the damp moist luscious soil from the root end. Leave the soil in the garden is a mantra that plays over in my head as I harvest. It’s hard not to notice how the soil has changed from that first year of growing. It was sandy and white, hardly could sustain growth. Now rich and chocolaty, smells so musky and earthy, full of flavor and body and strength. I spend so much time with it, touching it, moving it, feels like we’re old friends, comfortable talking about anything or just being silent together.
I’ve found this sacred place within my harvest. I’ve been searching for it my whole life. Has it been here the whole time? Or did I help to create it? I ask my friends the trees the soil; Are our hands working together to build it? or is your hand guiding my hand? It doesn’t matter really does it? no not really. There is no deception here. No lies no mistrust, mis-communication. No confusion, no illusion.