by Lara Struckman
There’s something different about autumn on the land. The light is different. During the day everything is golden as if bathed in the glow of the sun’s low flame. But as the sun sets and day turns to dusk, things get dark quick. The trees that draw the horizon line turn black in silhouette. I don’t remember that about summer evenings; it seemed like there was more light even as the sun was setting. I feel myself retreating earlier as well, spending more time in reflection and coziness. Funnily enough though I also find myself reaching out more for connection. I look to the plants around me and realize I’m not so different after all. As the temperatures get colder, they begin to put precious energy into their roots rather than into new growth, flowers, or fruit. As my initial internship with Common Ground winds slowly to a close in the coming weeks I find myself desiring to put energy into setting roots here for perhaps another season, rather than buzzing off to the next new thing. Like the delectable persimmons that have been nourishing my taste buds, I am finding life keeps sweetening right where I am and the beauty of building relationship to place.
I am reminded of a seed lesson I learned from Doug earlier in the summer about stratification and scarification. Some seeds need to go through a dormancy period before they can properly germinate and ultimately sprout to their fullest potential. So, too, do we and our relationships need to pause and go inward to bring forth new life. Other seeds need to be scratched a little bit to break through the hard exterior shell in order to germinate. Only then can they break through to spread their leaves. It takes another being whether that be a human, a stone in the soil, or another animal to exfoliate or scarify the seed. So too we need each other to push through our self- and society-imposed barriers. We need both the loving nudges and sometimes the abrasive challenges of community to blossom.
Speaking of blossoming, I continue to revel in the fullness and abundance of the garden even in the colder season. I’ve found in my time here on the farm that farming in this way is more than a job or occupation but is really a way of life. I see myself more and more reflected in the food we are growing, in the relationships we are tending, and the land we are occupying. I have really begun to love the way life on the farm has spilled out into other aspects like fostering pollinator habitat, cultivating the perennial patch, and tending to the trails and land structures. I am inspired by the passion, creativity, and ingenuity of the folks in this community I get to work with in all the above. This furthers my desire to engage in deeper more meaningful and creative ways to foster my own role in Common Ground beyond my time and title as the farm intern.
As the tendrils of time wrap around once again, we will see how well the seeds I am planting in this community come to fruition in the seasons to come!