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A Farewell to Fresh (for a season)

I love autumn.  Inevitably, when September cools down my thoughts turn to Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, and Puritans.  The colorful chlorophyll withdrawal, the migrations, the difference in the smell of the air: all of these contribute to my favorite season, capped off by the high holy day of Thanksgiving. 
The one drawback (that I can think of) to fall, in Michigan anyway, is the shuttering of farmers' markets.  The growing season comes to near standstill in Michigan by late December, but the markets have been closed since the beginning of the month (I believe Ann Arbor's is open through December) and that means the end of humanely slaughtered meats free of hormones and other Big Ag commodities.  No more fresh lettuce, peppers, squash, and apples.  No more diversity in size, taste, smell, and shape of the same kinds of produce.  Even though I might be able to find "organic" produce in grocery stores, it just isn't the same.  The majority of the produce I buy in mid-December to May probably comes from California and Florida.  How far is that?  Who grew it?  What practices does that farm use?
In sorting out my spiritual path, I've come across the practice of regular fasting.  These ancient rituals help one to focus on God, learn to say no to even good things, and create self-discipline.  Tied in to that is the fact that the farmers' markets in Michigan operate for only part of the year.  One should be forced to realize that crops don't normally grow year round, that strawberries and corn have seasons, that we can't really have it all.  The grocery store says otherwise: you want blueberries in January--you've got 'em.  Acorn squash in July--here ya go.  Either by forcing the earth to give up her fruit or shipping it from another land in another season we can have almost whatever we want almost any time.  Hubris thy name is 21st century America.
By having to wait until May or June for the start of a new growing season, by giving up meat (and eventually dairy) for part of the year, we should realize that we aren't masters of the universe, that we can't make dandelions grow by our own wills much less carrots.  There is still much mystery to life, but if we continue down the path of wanting (and obtaining) what we want when we want it, how much do we respect this mystery?  We are doomed to childhood or perhaps adolescence perpetually.
So, I enjoy fall, I sadly accept the end of the growing season, but I am more prepared for next spring when the strawberries flower and peas begin spreading their tendrils up a dowel.  Winter is nigh, but summer's abundance will be following shortly.

Comments

This is my first time to visit a blog because recently i make my blog dsilviamihaela.blogspot.com and I am happy to share my enjoy with a special blog like you have.May God give to you and your family all those things you needed in this year and all your dreams came true.I love your blog and many interesting things on it!Michaela from Bucharest captital of Romania

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