The end of the 2018 growing season is upon us here in Maine. The gardens are slowly growing empty. I removed the rest of the tomatoes at the beginning of September. The potatoes have been pulled, the cucumbers have slowed to a crawl, and the peppers and beans are beginning the dwindle down. Next will be the rush of buttoning up the gardens for winter, mulching down the beds to keep the more delicate perennials happy, planting garlic, and canning the last fruits of the season, predominately apples.
This time of year always reminds me of an old pocket watch, the type you have to wind in order for it to keep time. As the kinetic energy slowly slips from the movements, the hands slow down and time begins to feel like its moving at the pace of molasses. It’s a slow, steady, and sometimes boring pace, dragging you through the happiest moments until even they start to become dull due to simply overstaying their welcome. Inevitably, you wind the clock back up because things have gotten too slow, only to be shocked as suddenly the opposite emerges. Time feels like it’s flying by, faster than it ever has! The winds are blowing crisper than before, the leaves are piling up by the minute on the ground, frosts come in consecutive nights and then don’t leave at all, and the next thing we all know, the first blizzard is pounding at the door, demanding to share in the comfort of our home.
Yes, this is the slow time. The time to indulge and try to remember that in mere days, if we’re lucky, we’ll be back to the break-neck speed so many of us homesteaders have learned to love.
Mabon, or Autumnal Equinox, marks the common calendar’s first day of fall. For many Pagan traditions it marks the middle of fall and the beginning of the rush to get in the last harvest.
We’re a mixed faith family – Hubster is a Congregationalist and I’m a Pagan Witch – so there’s always a balance to strike with the holidays. The great thing about the Pagan holidays is how strongly they align to the tides of the year. Holidays are used to mark the passage of the seasons based off from nature and agriculture. They give holidays where they are needed to boost the spirits and keep people going. Mabon is no exception.
This time of year is always crazy-go-nuts. There is jam to finish, pickles to polish up, gourds to find room for, apples to bring in, and gardens to wrap up before the frosts come. Its a time of long days and sometimes longer nights. Mabon comes right in the middle. The equal time of day and night remind us that balance is always a must. Without balance things can fall into chaos.
One of the greatest things about Mabon is the chance to feast. In this time of abundance, it’s guaranteed that you can get in a full meal, one made with love and that can give the chance for a moment to breath and reflect on the crazy season. Given how busy the week can get, we decided to have out Mabon meal last night. We enjoyed spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce. Apple crisp graced the table for our dessert. Only two ingredients weren’t local (minus seasonings in the crisp), and three others didn’t come from our own garden. The tomatoes, green peppers, basil, parsley, and zucchini were all from our own land. It was delicious.