Post # 49 Autumn Equinox

September 22, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Today is the day that autumnal equinox.  Light and Dark are exactly equal today.  After today, Dark starts getting imperceptibly longer, until that day in mid-winter when Dark has its longest time.  Then Light starts taking over again until a day in Spring when Light and Dark are exactly equal again.  If you remember my post from August 1st about Lammas, you’ll recall that the equinox is one of the major holy days.  Today is also the day that marks the first day of the calendar season of Autumn, or Fall.

In the larger scheme of things, this day marks a day of balance and of preparation.  Even though the days are still hot, the nights cool off, and the mornings are chilly.  We see fewer and fewer insects.  Plants that are affected by the chill start to close down.  Spiders find their way indoors.  The dogs are friskier.  Squirrels start burying nuts with a vengeance.  The leaves start changing colors and dropping off trees, becoming a natural mulch and barrier to the cold and snow that’s coming.

A century ago, people were more in tune with the rythym of nature.  They could tell when to do certain things by the way nature was behaving.  The harvest matured in time to stock pile and preserve against the winter.

This day is also called Mabon, pronounced any way you like.  It is known for the foods that ripen at this time of year.  Apples, pears, nuts of all kinds, pumpkins, and squash are all foods we see as traditional.  Gourds are another thing we see at this time.  The celebrations held now are reflected in throughout our country.  The ancients celebrated the harvest.  Right now, there are country fair and state fairs all over the country being held which celebrate the same things.  I went to our state fair today and saw exhibits on the fruits of the harvest.

Today marks a time, however brief, when everyone take a moment to breathe, to relax, and to reflect on the upcoming seasons.  Autumn is bountiful and giving.  It turns nature into a color palette that sends people packing in hordes to view the resplendent countryside.  We watch trees turn from vibrant green to blazing reds, yellow, golds, and browns.  Fields of grass turn to gold and amber, with seed heads waiting to be harvests and swaying in the breezes.

There are lots of foods that are traditional to this time of year.  Apple pie, pecan pie, nut candy, pumpkin soup, roasted corn, roasted squash.  This is a busy time as the harvest comes.  There’s no time to say that I’ll do it tomorrow.  The harvest won’t wait and food will spoil on the vine.

One of my favorite parts of this time of year is the grape harvest.  Knowing that all those grapes will be turned into new wine that I can drink in just a couple of years makes me happy.  Plus I like to eat grapes.  Grapes are good stuff.

One of my favorite ways to eat grapes, apart from just eating them right off the bunch, is to wash them thoroughly.  I rinse them, then put them in a bowl with water and lemon juice.  I let them soak for a few minutes, then drain and rinse.  I sprinkle them lightly with sugar and put them in the freezer for about a half hour our so.  They don’t freeze completely, and with the sugar on top, they make a great, tasty snack!

Enjoy!

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