Autumn heralds the arrival of a bounty of crops including fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Harvesting is a ritual practiced the world over, to pick the abundance of crisp, juicy, sweet, apples, to thresh fields of golden corn and wheat and other grains, to cut the firm and colourful pumpkins from their vines. It’s a busy time of year, harvesting, preserving and storing all manner of produce.
There is so much variety of tastes of Autumn from enjoying freshly picked produce eaten straight from the garden, to enjoying the seasonal produce baked, roasted, stewed, steamed, fried, grilled, poached or pickled.
Harvest festivals and thanksgiving ceremonies have existed across time and cultures in response to the plentiful, copious gifts from the season of Autumn. These celebrations look different depending on where we live, but the recognition and appreciation of the abundance of Autumn produce invokes a joyful attitude of gratitude.
Thankfulness comes to the lips easily in times of plenty.
Finding these autumnal moments of gratitude in every season is a discipline.
Take a few minutes to settle into God’s presence. Place these questions on your heart. Allow images, words, sensations to rise. You might wish to keep a journal and review over time the invitation in your faithful reflection on each day.
Where today did I have the deepest sense of gratitude with God, others, creation, and myself?
Where today did I have the least sense of gratitude?
Walk around a garden or a fruit and vegetable shop or a market. Take time to observe the produce and be thankful.
Peel and chop parsnips and onions. Saute in butter until softening a bit ... add garlic and add ginger.
Add chicken broth, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until parsnips are soft. Puree.
Mix the condensed milk and lemon juice to make a paste.
Stir the paste mixture through the oats, ensuring the oats are sticky and well covered but not too wet.
Grate a fresh new season apple over the oats allowing the juice to run through the oats.