The delayed start to harvest has afforded a couple of unexpected benefits. I’ve often coveted the promise implicit in those idyllic images of stylish families walking down lanes covered with gorgeous fallen leaves. Of course, the people are sporting worn jeans, cozy burgundy knits, plaids in some iteration, and smiles of contentment. They are walking in parks, in the river valley, in corn mazes. Theyre shopping for the perfect Thanksgiving gourd while sipping on a caramel pumpkin spiced latte. The kids are laughing, engaged, curious little sponges asking whats this? and why? questions. Dad is present, both physically and mentally.
They surely are not worried about dewy mornings, grain moisture tests, the long-range forecast, or watching the years earnings hang in the balance. So, while I couldnt become one of them, I could take some time for a leisurely walk around our own property. I absorbed the colours and inhaled that distinctly earthy smell of wooded areas. I felt the sun on my face and the wind at my back. And I did it without plaid or coffee. The farmer in me noted it was perfect harvest weather and recognized we had nothing ready to be combined. I tried to tamp down my impatience and panic that this harvest would be harvest 2016 redux. I whispered a prayer of thanks for the gorgeous day, checked my Fitbit, and headed back to the house.
The other benefit of this found time (between the end of the festival I coordinate and the start of harvest) is the chance to attend an out-of-province wedding (relatively) guilt-free. Because Roy cant attend, Hilary is going with me. We’ve added a couple of days before and after the Gatineau wedding to see some of Ottawas sights. I’ve contacted my MPs office to see if a visit to the sitting House of Commons or a behind-the-scenes tour is possible. Well spent a couple nights with a university friend of Hilarys and chill at one of their favourite spas. Other than that, we have nothing definite planned though I hope to see the Terry Fox memorial and revisit the National Gallery of Canada.
I’ve also taken time to (re)start some stalled or forgotten projects. I made some necklaces. Theres truly nothing like meditative work with beautiful beads to transport one to another place. I’ve also read, and had Kade for a sleepover.
I’ve also worked on a manuscript thats been simmering for a few years now. By systemically working through the exercises in a how-to book I’m laying a strong foundation. Whether I choose to focus my annual October timeshare retreat on this project or bear down for the 30 days of insanity of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or both is still unclear. But, it’s truly lovely to have the choice.
So, while I’m happy I’ve seized these moments rather than tear out my hair, I do want to get on with it, damn it. Because, with harvest it aint over til it’s over, from where I sit.
Hazel Anakas first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.