Gathering The Seasons
By Sophie Moeckel
” There is no season such delight can bring
as summer, autumn, winter and the spring.”
In the summer we gather water,
water for scorched plants,
water around our boats on the river.
Everyday to the creek, submerging in the cool water,
refreshing ourselves after a hot days labor.
We gather bug bites, sunburns, and bare feet,
lemonade, ice cream and milk.
Lots of milk. It’s peak season.
We turn on the second fridge and make cheese,
grateful to the girls out in the pasture.
The kitchen is full in the summer,
full of baskets of produce,
and full of people we love to feed.
We gather honeybees and flowers,
we gather AT hikers and helpers, we gather friends.
Our baskets overflow in the summer,
overflow with eggs, with fruit, with herbs, with vegetables.
We work hard, and we play hard, our days
are full of gathering
for the seasons to come.
In the fall we gather apples.
We gather with friends around the cider press
and stir the copper apple butter kettle with hands
that ache from chopping and peeling-
It feels good, that annual ache.
We eat apple crisp, apple pie, and pumpkin pie.
Colorful leaves drift down around us,
Canada geese fly south above us,
and we know that it is fall.
We bring in the last of the harvest
in preparation for the first chilling frost.
We gather hay in the fall,
filling the barn as green pastures turn brown,
like the leaves.
We gather family in the fall,
Together we cook,
And together we are thankful.
In the winter we gather warmth,
the warmth of the wood stove, the warmth of tea, and soup.
Lots of soup.
We gather wool in the winter- wool on our bodies, wool on our needles,
wool on the bobbins of the spinning wheels.
We gather friends together, for tea, for crafting, for play,
for meals or for lovely chats by the wood stove.
We gather on the pasture hills in the winter
when the ground is carpeted in snow.
We gather around the fire pit and sip
hot chocolate, out in the snow.
Then, back we go to sledding,
snowboarding, snowball fights, skiing,
The pasture is full of friends,
gathering together, celebrating the snow.
We gather ideas in the winter
and enjoy other seasons’ bounty, preserved.
In the spring we gather sunshine and cool breezes,
we soak in the freshness of the awakening world.
We revel in each new bud, in each sprout that pokes up out of the thawing ground,
reaching for the sunshine.
We watch as buds open into blossoms,
as green appears on branches, and as a fresh carpet bursts forth beneath our feet.
We gather daffodils and crocuses, hyacinth and forsythia.
We fill our house with flowers, throw open the windows,
and move outside.
We gather dirt in the spring,
dig our hands and feet into it
and paint our fingernails brown with soil.
We gather weeds in the spring,
struggling to keep up with them.
We gather violets to infuse our vinegar,
and bring in the first round of produce-
the peas, lettuce, spinach; all those wonderful plants that can take
the chill that still lingers.
We gather new life in the spring.
Once again the pastures are alive with floppy eared kids,
and bouncing lambs. With romping puppies,
and with new mothers, ravenous for fresh green grass.
We welcome nesting boxes full of peeping chicks
and yet another mother duck who appears, leading her brood behind her.
We gather them all into our arms-
goats, lambs, puppies, kittens, ducklings, chicks,
amazed that there is this much cuteness in the world.
We gather, and know that spring is the beginning
of seasons of learning. Seasons full of joy and struggles, of work and play.
Of new ideas triggering new projects, of successes and failures.
Seasons full of friends and family, new and old,
and full of love and growth.
Seasons of sowing and of gathering.
Here are some pictures that were mostly taken last year that I thought fit into the theme of Gathering the Seasons.