Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Winter is coming."

This past week, while recovering from my surgery (and by the way, even minor surgery can apparently rob you of any energy you even thought you might have for the week following; holy crap) I watched the HBO show "Game of Thrones". (So good!) It's based on a fantasy book, and part of it centers around these characters from the North. The place they live has odd seasons--they make reference to the fact that several children in the family (who are at least 10) have only ever known summer. But the family motto is, "Winter is coming." Now, this has less ominous implications for us here (we won't have to deal with 20 years of winter or anything like that) but it's a saying I can definitely relate to. Summer is fantastic, but we always know that it's going to be far shorter than we'd like it to be. It's so busy and packed full because we all know that we have to get the most out of this time, stock up for winter and fill ourselves with the sensations (warmth) and activities (biking, running, etc.) that we can't have (or can't do as easily) during the winter. My forced inactivity and lack of energy have been major frustrations to me, because there's so much more that I want to get done, and feel that I should be doing. But even reading a book is sometimes more taxing than I can deal with.
As I mentioned before, it's fair time. It's practically a saying around here that when the fair comes, so does the rain. Because it always does get chilly and gloomy during fair time, if not downright miserably rainy. (Today it seems to be sticking to just clouds so far, although it rained overnight.) This is such a turning point in the year. The fair acts almost like a signal to everyone that we need to make our last mad preparations before winter sets in. We don't have that much time left. In the next week or two I expect we'll start seeing autumn produce at the farmer's market, mostly squashes. A few leaves have started to turn, even this early, but by the end of the month most of them will show at least a little bit of color. I know so many people who've been canning, freezing and otherwise preserving their summer bounty, putting up as much as possible. Suddenly, the last real month of summer seems far too short for all we need to get done. (And I can't kid myself--September is autumn here. The days will be cool and the nights will start to get frosty.) There's always the lingering thought, have I done enough? Is there more I can do? And always, wondering how hard this winter will be. The last two winters have been rather mild. Are we due for a harsher one?
So, I very much understand those characters and their dire warnings. Winter is coming. We need to be prepared.

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