Last week was the equinox, and in our modern world it holds little significance. In the ancient world of people who were strongly connected with the earth, the cosmos, and the rhythms of nature – this was a very significant time and the whole Earth was declaring the shift.
Notice that in just the last few days the plants look different. They are strongly moving towards their Winter form. Leaves are turning colors as photosynthesis ends, and the other colors that have formed the vivid green colors are revealed. Seeds and buds are fully formed. The enormous energy the plants have expended to create these little gems of chaos and rebirth becomes most apparent right now as they concentrate the life and energy in that part of their structures.
The Equinox is also the transition from the expanding forces of Spring and Summer that produce the amazing abundance of life, to the contracting and crystallizing forces of Fall and Winter that gather and store those forces so that the cycle can begin again. It is often thought of in Biodynamic terms as an inhale of breath and an exhale of breath. The Equinox is that pause between breaths that is silent and tension filled.
Most of us feel this new sense of purpose and willfulness in the early fall, almost as if we are getting all the supplies ready to help us live through the winter. At our Partner Farms there is this same sense of urgency – like the last sprint to the finish line. Squashes must be harvested before the frost touches them, Potatoes and root crops are nearly all ready for storage, and the last few tender crops must either be harvested and sold, or given back to the Earth as the frost and freezes make them melt back into the soil.
The transition is inevitable, and our tastes for food also begin to change. Our appetite grows to fuel this enlivened will, and we crave heavier sweeter well cooked foods to fuel our inner fire.
Look and see how you feel during this time – energized, more aware, more perceptive or sensitive, and even a bit anxious? These are all the feelings and signs that were second nature to our ancestors who were still fully aware that their lives were completely dependent on the Earth and her forces. We are entering a new time when we will need that sensitivity and awareness again to help heal our greater body – the Earth – so that she can provide what we need to fully realize our potential.