Today I awoke wanting to write. I have nothing specific in mind, no designated topic, no real point to convey but, perhaps by the end of this, it will reveal itself.
It's a very busy week here in the Village Wise Woman's household and gardens. The leaves keep falling from the surrounding trees and I continue to rake them up into the garden beds, partly to keep the property looking tidy but also because I have a nagging feeling that this Winter will be harsh and the garden beds must be as insulated as possible. The trees are nearly bare, a few leaves still hanging in there, refusing to give up yet. The calendula and nasturtiums took their final bow last week and I have since removed them. All the herbs are harvested and put up to dry. It will soon be time to take them down for storage in jars and bags or to make my smudge sticks. The resident birds have all settled into their different homes - a bush over here, a hedge over there, the brush beneath a shrub, or the hanging homes I set out for them. The groundhog has not been spotted for a week or two so I think he or she has settled in for the Winter. A quiet has settled over my gardens.
My Master Gardener classes are coming to an end and I find myself a bit sad about it. It has been so much fun and I have learned so much over the past three months. Although I will be seeing my fellow classmates at meetings or volunteer opportunities or in my project group, I will miss them all. I will miss heading to class every Thursday and meeting up with all those wonderful unique personalities - students, instructors and long-time Master Gardeners. I will miss the beautiful spread of food that the Master Gardeners prepare for the students each week for our break time. There are always lovely healthy salads, fruit, and home-baked cookies. Somehow gardening and good food go hand-in-hand. I will even miss my trips on the trolley (something I thought I would never say). As sad as I am to see my classes coming to an end, I am excited about my future as a certified Master Gardener and all the great things that will come of it.
Thanksgiving is in a week and I am quite busy preparing the house, and myself, for the holiday. I am again hosting Thanksgiving for my family, as I have over the past 10 years, since my Mom passed away. We all find ourselves faced with another rough and raw celebration again this year, with the loss of my Dad three months ago. He loved coming to my house on Thanksgiving, reveled in the food, the company, my ever-growing gardens, and my witchy Martha Stewart holiday décor. It will be so difficult to not hear him calling me out of the kitchen so he can praise my arrangement of gourds, pumpkins and candles. I could always count on him to be impressed by my natural decorating skills. He always said grace before the platters began their rotations around the table. This task is now mine. I am not the great orator that my Dad was so I am working on a written blessing. I am not even sure I will be able to get through it but I can only try. My middle sister told me last weekend that she can't even really think about the vegetables for Thanksgiving because they were one of his favorite parts of the meal. It is strange what can make you fall apart when you lose someone. But, even with all the sadness of the holiday, we will have joy too. It radiates from the new addition to our family, my niece. We will watch her sit at the table in her high chair, sneaking her little teeny bits of Thanksgiving dinner, making her giggle with delight, and sharing in her first ever Thanksgiving.
So, perhaps the point here is that, amid loss, sadness and endings, there is gain, joy and beginnings. The wheel continues to turn. Yes, I think that is the message I have been given today.