Green 2.0: Seasonal Joys

13 10 2010

I can’t fool you: we are talking about pleasures again. I just got tired of writing the word.

Although you’ve probably heard it before, it’s true as can be: in our industrialized society, it can be hard to feel at home in our natural surroundings, which are essentially the seasons. If we are unpracticed in the art of savoring each season’s joys, we may focus only on its sorrows. Spring is muddy; summer, hot; autumn gloomy; winter . . . well, you know all about that if you live north of Florida.

The poet Thoreau once said, “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” So much of our struggle with nature – and I do include myself – is the feeling that we must be in control. That we must rage against the dying of the light, to quote another poet. What travelers tend to find so quaint about indigenous peoples is really their joyful resignation to the influences – good and otherwise – of their world. Natives know how to navigate nature and find the best in it because they live in it – and with it.

We can learn this. It must be a gentle courtship. Buy some of the season’s fruits at a farm stand. Make a recipe with seasonal ingredients (try About.com’s Local Foods). Or simply sit outside, in any weather, for just a few minutes. See how the light is different than three months ago.

What are your seasonal joys?

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One response

13 10 2010
Becky

Great post, Colleen! I never really enjoyed the seasonality of my surroundings until I lived/worked on a farm for 5 months (thank you A Rocha Canada / USA!). There, we tried to eat as simply and locally as possible, so we were forced to recognize the seasons as they affected the produce that was available to us. I’m so thankful for my time there – it taught me to appreciate the deliciousness of a fresh apple (not the cardboard grocery store kind) or a ripe butternut squash, which are now some of my favorite seasonal pleasures 🙂 Since I left, I’ve made it a point to sample all of my favorite produce at least once while it’s fresh and in season – asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, squash…it’s like taking a little bit of A Rocha with me wherever I go 🙂

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