Friday, July 23, 2021

Friday Ramble - Season

This week's word comes to us from the Middle English sesoun through the Old French seson and the Vulgar Latin satio, meaning time of sowing or planting, all arising from the Latin serere, meaning to sow. Season shares its origins with the word seed, and both entities are concerned with fertility, fruitfulness and nourishment. The noun describes four divisions of the calender year as defined by designated differences in temperature, rainfall, daylight and the growth of vegetation: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

In earlier times, a season simply marked the interval within which an important hunting and/or agricultural activity was undertaken and completed i.e. the planting season, the harvest season, the hunting season, the dormant season. Each season is complete within itself whether viewed through the lens of the calendar year or the loving eyes of a crone, her canine companion and her camera rambling in the Great Round. Each season is a cycle with its beginning (sowing), its center or middle (cultivation and nurturing) and its completion (harvest or reaping).

In much the same way, to season a broth or stew is to undertake a savory sowing of foodstuff with the seeds of taste and ambrosial fragrance. Whether it is the planting, tending and reaping of one's garden or adding fresh herbs to a bowl of rice and veggies, it's all about nourishment, appreciating the earth's gifts and paying attention.

On early morning walks, heavy dew sparkles on field grasses and glistens on the wildflowers in nearby hedgerows. Buttery maple leaves drift into our path and come to rest at our feet, their early transition and swooping airborne dance set in motion by one of the hottest summers in recent memory. The sound is a pleasing susurrus that lingers long after we have rounded a corner and are turning toward home. Shallow puddles along our way hold fallen leaves in blithe fellowship with the sky and clouds and trees reflected from above. When we pause, we are standing in boundless sky.

August is only a few days away, and there is no doubt about it, autumn is not far off. If you live in the north, the coming season is about apples, rain and falling leaves, and the words form a lovely rustling mantra (or litany) as we ramble around the village and through the woods of the Lanark highlands. It's all good. With sweet and spicy things we will season the autumn days to come.

1 comment:

Barbara Rogers said...

I join many of us in looking forward to autumn, but sigh and know August must be experienced first...many hot days where movement is either early morning, or done quickly from one air conditioned place to another, from one shady spot to another, where the sun and blistering ground are to be avoided.