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This Next Season

By Matthew Kitchen, Phase I Fellow

How do you prepare for the next season?

In transition there’s so much to reason: What do I finish and what’s there to end? Should I start this plan? Or should I suspend thinking forward, before reflecting back, and let's not forget the importance of keeping good records so I don't lose track--especially when the season is fall and the next one is the coldest of all!

We planned steps to shore up the homestead for the colder months:

1. Knit all the tomatoes little sweaters, until a front brings in the cold weathers;

2. Harvest all the pumpkins before they die and then make lots and lots and lots of pie;

3. Process and store all of the year’s foodstuffs in the Timber Frame, sometimes with earmuffs;

4. Shovel tons of manure onto the garden and let it ripen, progress, and mature;

5. Do your best to get a firewood stash--don't only remember after rain’s splash;

6. When the channel says a freeze is coming, unscrew hoses and turn off the plumbing;

7. When subfreezing outside and rain here soon, we flip PJs for heights above the cardoons;

8. Now that sunrise isn’t crazy early, stand still in awe as the moon fades pearly;

9. Celebrate the season with everyone here, with Halloween, gratitude, and festive cheer;

10. Sit at the table with a cup of tea, and picture all the far places we’ll soon be;

How does one prepare for the next season? As weathers change in time, and with reason.

When a fog rests over the valley crop, sometimes clarity’s found on the mountaintop. And after traveling to get up there, you see the sun moves so fast through the air and you look around as it’s time to go: Embrace everyone you’ve gotten to know; then drive most probably with tears in eyes, and see a world more beautiful arise.

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