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Your Gathering Basket

Your Gathering Basket

I looked all over for a gathering basket last spring. They are typically shallow baskets that are either long and rectangular or oval so that your fruit or vegetables or even cut flowers can lay in a single layer on the bottom of the basket. These beauties also sport big handles that can go over your arm to leave your hands free for gathering. You’d think with all the popularity of gardens and garden decorations that a gathering basket would not be hard to find. The vintage ones are easy to locate in antique shops but they can be pretty pricey. I did persevere and finally find one online that I love.

And now it is harvest time. The colors of our midwestern landscape are warm and muted. Pumpkins and corn and tomatoes are abundant and delicious. We’re puckered up for the sweet taste of apples, cider and home baked delicacies that tantalize our taste buds. The kids are back in the swing of the school schedule; football games compose the social schedule on the weekends. The evenings are cool and ripe for a thick sweater and a warm fire. Young ones may already be dreaming up the ideal Halloween costume.

And yet, where did the summer go? Aren’t you just a tiny bit sad about the absence of long sunny hours, warm temperatures that leave you breathless to return to the air conditioning, and the vacation feel of the weekend? Didn’t it go by, just like always, in a heartbeat?

Why is it when we say hello to one season we must bid goodbye to another? Sure we’ve enjoyed some lovely weather in the fall. It feels homey and slow to experience the outdoors with its musky smells, crispy leaf and insect sounds, and glowing low light of afternoons. But it’s not summer…

According to Cheryl Richardson, best selling author and life coach, the best way to create the space for a great, new beginning is to fully participate in the ending. This means acknowledging, “what was” with eyes wide open. I’ve learned to say goodbye with meaning and purpose by using the power of ritual.

So my friends, I’d like to suggest that you use the metaphor of a gathering basket to take one last look at summer and see what memoires, images, photographs, songs, experiences you’d like to gather in your basket to keep you believing in summer until it comes again. We’ve got some challenges ahead – ice, snow, cold, dark. But we can do it! I think I may keep one of my favorite summer tops hanging in a prominent spot in my closet, even after I’ve traded out most of my skimpy short sleeves for warmer, wintry wools.

What are your favorite summer images? How will you plan to gather them and place them ever so gently in your particular basket? What other ritual might you want to put in to practice that will help you savor the sweet breath of summer?

Gather on! It’s time to harvest all the goodness that the fertility of summer has allowed. Say goodbye with love and prepare to be fully in harvest time.

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