And just like that, fall is here.
The change was instantaneous. One moment the kids were running around barefoot, the temperatures in the high 90′s, and in desperation for some coldness, we made a special trip to the store to buy ice for lemonade. We swam in the pond at least twice daily to cool off, and slept under a thin sheet.
Then the weather shifted. The light changed. Rain came. And suddenly that special crispness of fall was in the air. Sweaters were taken out of the bottom of our Rubbermaid containers. Extra blankets pulled out of a drawer. And the kids started saying, “I’m cold!”.
We had two glorious days of beautiful fall sun (and will have more to come!), and on one of those days, we walked across an open pasture to our neighbor’s fifth annual Harvest Festival. Brian was a participant, demonstrating blacksmith techniques at his coal forge. Our neighbor Julia sat in the fiber circle and hand-carded some wool in preparation for spinning. There was cider pressing, bread and goat cheese tasting, a hayride, a layout of hand tools, basket weaving demonstrations, and much more. I wandered around with Everett asleep on my back while Ella joined a pack of children in the sorghum patch, munching on the sweet goodness of fallen canes. When he awoke, Everett tried his hand at using a draw knife, under the guidance of our patient neighbor, Mike.
And at the end of a lovely day enjoying this bounty of craft and skill, I wandered back home, feeling grateful that on our little country lane, I am surrounded by people who care about beauty, food grown by hand, education, and connection with community. I walked briskly, getting just warm enough to jump in the pond for a bath, thinking that perhaps my days of bathing outdoors are numbered.