It was during summer last year—our first in our little house and yard—that we really started to attempt to shape our daily activities, habits, and tasks around the seasons. We were in the middle of a pretty amazing to-do list, then: an exploding garden to manage, an older house to update, warm days to take advantage of, and invitations from friends who tend to disappear when the days get short and cold. We were both working full-time, and I had taken on a handful of weddings in an effort to get more floral design experience under my belt, so every spare moment seemed packed with obligations—fun or otherwise. By mid-August we were both more than a little overwhelmed and I was starting to consider what it might take to abandon it all and become a professional hermit.
I was reminded by Evan, though, that soon enough fall would arrive and naturally everything would start to die back and become more manageable. The rain would eliminate the need for our rigorous watering routine; the cold would wither our prolific squash and tomato plants; wedding season would be over soon; and as the days shortened, so would our list of engagements. I felt so excited by this prospect that it only seemed natural that when fall finally, officially arrived, we should have a celebration. Not only that, but it began to become clear how much sense it makes to structure our lives around the quarterly seasons. So we decided to make an intentional effort to do so.
This year's fall equinox marked our first year of living and celebrating seasonally. I have found that observing the seasons has given us a compass for the decisions we make—in our garden, home, social lives, and outdoor endeavors. On each equinox and solstice, we list out and carefully budget for the projects we want work on in the coming quarter. We also join our friends, Kelli and Larren, on a quarterly stock-up trip to Bob's Red Mill. We then have a meal together, usually based on what is currently growing in our yards.
This most recent autumnal equinox, we made a meal from foraged mushrooms and our own harvest of beets, tomatoes, leeks, rutabaga, and the last cut of steer we bought last year. Our conversations wound around our reflections on seasons past and what we looked forward to in fall. Then, at the end of the evening, we gathered around the firepit adjacent to the garden and let summer fade out with the cooling coals.