I’m going to admit something that may seem odd for a native New Englander.  I have never particularly liked fall.  There, I said it.  As a kid, it meant the end of summer and as an adult, it came to mean darkness when I emerged from my day job.  In the past, I’ve made lists of things to love about fall: apple cider, apple picking, football season, roasted veggies, pumpkin pie, etc.  Still, I remained a shamed New Englander.

Then, my mom married my step-dad, and together, they grow gardens full of fruits and vegetables.  Where before, fall was a time of the loss of foliage and daytime, I have learned a newfound appreciation for all that it has to bring in the form of the harvest.

This weekend, I was able to dig up sweet potatoes (pictured below– took 20 minutes of scrubbing to get the dirt out from under my nails), cut grapes off the vine, and gathered the last of the eggplants and squash.  While the plants are now dying, their bounty lives on– sharing with friends and neighbors and throughout the winter, and when I eat the things my mom has sent home with me freshly canned or frozen.  I am so grateful for these small measures and I know that my parents take great pride in being able to share.

Thanksgiving for Harvest

As I thought about WeGush in the context of the harvest season, I realized that the planting the seeds for vegetables and fruits is much like planting the seeds of gratitude.  If you plant it, it can grow if you nurture it just a bit.  We are also all a little bit spiritually wealthier when we spread it around.

Fall, for me, is a time of Thanksgiving, and not just for one day in November.  The days may be shorter, but they feel plentiful in many ways.  Now, if my mother would just let me fulfill my lifelong dream of stomping on grapes in a barrel…