Gladdening Tasks: A Writer Wednesday PostNovember 26th, 2014 | Posted by in Essays
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The sun is setting on the growing time of year and the time of inward turning arises. Yesterday John and I squeaked in the very last moments of winter preparation before today’s predicted snow. (At present the flakes are not flying, but sinking, soppy, thick and compactable, into perfect snowman-snowball snow.)
We set the ladder and changed the battery on the outdoor clock; safely housed the ceramic birdbath and wrenhouse; gathered split firewood, stacked and tarped it; pulled up, trimmed and scrubbed leeks and celery root. The gift of fresh roots, gently pungent on the dinner table—see how they throb with life, how glad they are to join us inside.
Today my heart swells with thanks for such simple physical tasks, some of them ancient as agriculture itself. The feeling is strong indeed—the whole heritage of humans husbanding the land and securing their homes upon it fills me to bursting with something deeper than nostalgia, broader than language.
As Thanksgiving descends on wide and fragrant wings, may you enjoy humble tasks, shared with one you love, tasks which gladden body and spirit, tasks which are not at a remove from life, but are life itself in a land of changing seasons.