Vibrant red maple leaves bursting forth

Vibrant red maple leaves bursting forth

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.   A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.  A time to kill, a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up.  A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance…  (So sayeth Ecclesiastes in the 3 King James Bible, if you care to read the next 18 stanzas.)

I was thinking about this yesterday.  Mostly because I wanted to stay home and rest after all the traveling.  But the morels might still be mushrooming.  So, no matter what a person wanted, it was off to the mushroom-hunting grounds yet again.

When you live close to nature, you realize She’s the Boss.  It’s her time table or forget it.  You pick mushrooms when they’re ready.  You watch all the flowers bloom for several months.  You harvest in abundance during late summer and early autumn.  You witness the trees in their blazing glory.  Then you watch and watch and watch and watch and watch the snow fall for the other eight months.

Sunlight filters through the tiny green growing oak leaves

Sunlight filters through the tiny green growing oak leaves

In the man-made world we can sometimes forget that Mother Nature is the Boss.  We think we can walk into a grocery store and buy, say, asparagus, twelve months a year.  Fresh raspberries?  We think nothing of popping them in our hungry mouths in February.  Tomatoes?  Of course we’ll eat ’em year round.  (Even if they taste like cardboard?  For some of us the answer is–Yes.)

When you live close to the earth and the garden and the wild plants you pick and eat everything in season.  When the morels poke their heads toward the sunlight, you saute them in butter or olive oil and cook (for at least 8 minutes for all wild mushrooms, or so the rumor goes) for only three weeks in May, max.  If you’re lucky. 

When the lettuces grow tender from their sprouted seeds, you eat lettuce.  Lots of it. Lettuce for lunch and dinner.  You’re eating it steadily before it bolts and turns bitter when the sun burns hot in mid-summer.  Green beans?  Save a couple weeks in late August to become the Green Bean Queen.  Or King.  You eat green beans until you’re dreaming of them, if you aren’t dreaming of zuchini or beets or cucumbers fresh from the vine.

Bleeding Heart in our perennial garden blooms

Bleeding Heart in our perennial garden blooms

An advantage of this eternal timing is that things are spaced out.  You’re not pounding acorns into flour at the same time the peas grow fat and plump on the vine.  You’re not sweating over canned tomatos when the tiny wild strawberries sweeten your lips.  The disadvantage is:  sometimes it feels like feast or famine.  It’s either all snow or all harvest or all flowers blooming.  And I guess we better appreciate it!

And guess what else it is time for–

The baby robins just hatched!

The baby robins just hatched!

Here is the Upper Peninsula Ecclesiastes:  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.  A time to shovel snow and a time for wildfires to burn, a time for deer hunting season and a time to pick off wood ticks.  A time to watch the Northern Lights and a time to stoke fires and a time to swat deer flies and no-see-ums and a time to eat wild thimbleberries and a time to….  Well, I’m sure you get the idea!  🙂

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