With the changing leaves comes changing light. We’re shifting from summer blooms and an abundance of flora to the essential sleep and quiet of winter dormancy. This is true of our trees, plants, and flowers as they hibernate and do their work below the surface, and it’s just as true of us. There is something deeply comforting in this—the constancy of seasons in a time where so many pieces of our lives have felt unsure.
We are, down to our bones, seasonal beings. After the bounty of the final harvest, the first frost sends us inside to rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor: the jarred preserves of our summer gardens, the dried grasses and blossoms from a greener time. We do the good work of the cold weather season, reinforcing our personal energy stores and sidling up to a stretch of time that invites solitude and slowness.
We can turn to the wise words of others, like Mary Oliver, who articulate this time with grace and precision:
In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
As plants grow, they shed older leaves—this shedding and replacement will yield fresh, new growth. In these darker months, the perennial plants start putting their energy to their roots; 75 percent of root growth happens in the fall, when the eye might lead us to believe that all is quiet. As chlorophyll dwindles, we see the bright, striking pigments in trees that we’ve long associated with the movement towards winter, when plants have their respite and live off stored food until spring,
As summer closes, our generous flow of locally-grown blooms naturally slows. This is what we think of as the “last call” for Colorado’s harvest, the final celebration of its growing season. You can mark this time with your own ritual of the seasonal shift, and take the distillation of summer home with you. Browse all of our summer’s end creations here.