These are the colors of fall for me now.
A while back, my husband wrote a really good piece for Front Porch Republic about planting fruit trees even when you don’t know if you’ll get to reap the rewards of your labor. Yes, this did have a basis in real life, as we had just finished planting three apple trees, were in the midst of some confusing medical stuff, and had recent experience with how life can turn upside down in a hurry.
I’m thankful that most of that hard time is past for now, but its presence has given such beauty to the ordinary. And the principle of sowing what you may not reap has its reverse: the goodness of harvesting what you have not planted. I have been transplanted to a place, a house, a small property, that has been giving me gifts over and over.
The woods are full of trees and plants bursting with life, and some with pigments. There is a peach tree in our yard, planted by previous owners who were not particularly food-oriented gardeners, which has given us fruit with almost no work on our part. A wild passionvine that produces beautiful flowers, dye, and fruit sprang up in our yard and because we had been paying attention to the local flora, we knew that if we trellised it we might get fruit (and we did! and it is surpassingly delicious).
Every day for the last month I’ve walked 8 steps out the door and gathered windfallen hickory nuts because someone had the foresight not to bulldoze two hickory trees when the land was cleared for our house. My children already know the names of several wild plants that we never saw, or noticed, in the city.
It’s all a gift.