As-you-know-bob, I’ve written about Root Time before.
Years ago, I said that Root Time is:
[…]The time of year when we, like the perennials and the bears, hunker down, live off our stores, and turn inward towards our dreams.
Winter is a great time for planning, rehashing, and taking stock.
The seasonal cycles are what they are and, around here, Winter is a time of rest for all the perrenials in the neighbourhood. For me, as well, the cold(er) seasons of the year are a time of long evenings, candle light, slow-cooking meals, writing, and handicrafts interspersed with regular festivities – which, I admit, are on the hectic side, and don’t necessarily lend themselves to resting, at least not in the lead-up there-to – where I get to feast and frolic with my various nearest and dearest. 🙂
The “shoots and fruits” side of the year is, even for someone without a garden (yet! Only 11 days to go!) to call their own, a busy time. For those who do cultivate the land (along with their relationship there-with – a particular form of land guardianship), the time between Beltane and Samhain (still quite a ways off at this point) is a rush of activities – prepping, planting, protecting, harvesting, and preserving – that can threaten to overwhelm on many occasions. As much as I love it, knowing that the the big preserving push is winding down, and that the end is in sight, is a relief. Don’t get me wrong. I count myself grateful for the many nearby grocery stores with their freezer cases, produce aisles, and shelves of tinned tomato products that allow me to get away with preserving only 10 litres of tomatoes, only, freeze only 6 litres of fruit and vegetables; that allow me to rely on my crisper drawers rather than managing a root cellar or cold room of late-harveste, hopefully non-magotty root veggies and winter squash. Otherwise this time of year would be noticeably more hectic and significantly more stressful than it is.
Right now, I’m still in the somewhat squirrel-like mad dash to finish canning All The Preserves, a situation which is compounded by the recentlly acquired need to purge All The Things, pack up what’s left, and move house!
Our move-out date – the day we have to be completely moved out of our current apartment and have given the keys back and so on – is Samhain. The official beginning of Root Time (in my mind, at least). I find it remarkably appropriate that we’ll be finishing the last of the unpacking – crossing our own threshold, symbolically, if you will – just as we’re crossing the waning threshold of the Wheel.
This year, the “planning” and “taking stock” aspects of Root Time are going to be standing out in sharp relief. I’m looking forward to many an evening sitting down with graph paper designing the layout for the network of raised beds and trellisses that my wife and I will be building (and growing things in) once we’ve crossed the waxing threshold at Beltane. I’m looking forward to getting settled in our new Nest, to cooking meals in our new kitchen using preserves canned and frozen in our old one, to resting and regenerating, growing towards the coming Spring.
Good luck on moving house. I don’t feel the need to Purge All The Things! yet, but I’m feeling some movement in that direction. The other day, I found myself thanking a grocery store stockist for the work he was doing, keeping me and the other folks in the store fed. He looked at me oddly, and said, “if I didn’t, we’d all have to be farmers…” and then he paused, as if that thought had never occurred to him, and it troubled him.
Purging All The Things has been a requirement for some time. We’re “stuff intensive” people, so regular culling is necessary.
RE: “We’d all have to be farmers”: Yup. Much as I love to grow things, and much as I love my numerous farming ancestors and cousins, I am *so glad* that I don’t have their job. Thanks to them, I don’t have to *worry* if my particular bunch of crops (or wild-foraging forrays, as the case may be) don’t yield as well as I’d hoped.