Fall is a funny type of season. It seems to be made up of the concept, “hurry up and wait”. The rainy gray days are the wait days. Harvest progress grinds to a halt as the fields become too damp to be in them and the crop gets too tough to run through a combine.
Today turned out to be a beautiful sunny day……a hurry up day. My husband hurried to haul wagon loads of corn to the elevator in town. He hurried to make sure there were empty wagons waiting for the neighbor who combines our corn. The trip to town is 20 miles round trip and driving time alone takes a bit of time. He has a lot of time to ponder life during those miles. Though, by the time the day is done, he tells me he is sick of driving the same 10 mile stretch…….and I believe him!
This afternoon I decided I had better hurry and get some seasonal chores taken care of. The potatoes that had been dug out last week had dried nicely and it was time to sort through them. Some looked like they had been bludgeoned with the pitchfork rather than dug up with that pitchfork (Perhaps we should invest in an actual potato fork?). Those potatoes had stab holes and were missing pieces. They got stored in a separate pail to be used quickly before they go bad.
The rest of the potatoes were sorted by size and bagged in burlap sacks. It will be a wonderful thing this winter when the snow is flying and I can just go to the basement to get some potatoes for a meal.
It was also time to dig some of the more tender plants out of the ground and put them into pots. The gerber daisies are not a perennial around here and need to be potted up and put indoors so they can survive, bloom and be enjoyed next summer. I had, had them covered up the last weeks due to nights of frost. I was surprised to see one was still blooming cheerfully under it’s blanket. It was a really nice leftover piece of summer.
There were also calla lilies bulbs and star of hope bulbs that needed to be dug up. After raking the leaves off them I discovered the ground was really damp. This was not going to be a tidy task today. (It will definitely be time to haul out the fingernail scrubber.)
I took the large geranium pots out of the garage, where they had been stored so they would not freeze. They had gotten pretty gangly while in there and definitely needed a “haircut”. After potting plants, cutting plants and cleaning dirt off of bulbs I loaded all the pots of flowers into the trunk of my car. It was very satisfying to check these items off the seasonal to-do list I have tucked away in the back of my brain.
I am very fortunate that my folks have a plumbing shop in town with huge south facing windows. My dad has benches that are perfect for potted plants. It is a treat to drive past the shop in the wintertime and see the bright splash of blooming flowers in those windows. I am at a loss as to what I will do with my plants, in the winter, once dad decides to sell that shop!
All these tasks are a part of the changing seasons and the visible sign of passing time. I am finding that the older I get, these tasks take me longer than they used to…..and I am okay with that.
I find I also cherish these things more than I used to. Maybe that is why it is okay that it all takes me longer….It gives me more time to cherish life. When I am digging up bulbs and potting plants it reminds me that though this season of growth is done and the cold winter is coming, God is faithful and Spring will arrive again at the appointed time.
There is a promise in the bulbs that are stored for the winter and the plants that are moved indoors….the promise of life, of renewal, of hope. Perhaps that is why I love flowers so much…they speak of faithfulness and perseverance. They speak without using words, but they speak. They tell me God loves us, not because we have earned it. They tell me He loves us just because He does and that no matter how cold and wintry it gets….Spring will come again.
“God does not love us because we are valuable.
We are valuable because God loves us.”
And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin.