The evenings have become quite crisp. The dusk mist sneaks up from the valley to our hill, often leaving us in a blanket of moist air. Seasons are shifting. You can tell something is up. Ewes are birthing early lambs, field mushrooms are becoming hard to find, magpies are flying around with straw in their beaks and rabbits well, let's just say they're busy too. There are signs every where that winter is on it's way. Autumn is my most treasured season, I lament that she's almost done for another year. I love it when she returns each year without fail. I'm so excited at the subtle hints of her return. Then like a rainbow she's is gone as fast as she arrived. And now we have winter knocking vigerously at our door.
I feel the best prepared for this oncoming cold season than ever before. My larder is stocked with the basics. I have a deer, lamb and pork filled freezer. I have over a hundred bottles of passata, baskets of nuts, endless pumpkins, dried summer beans and just enough garlic. I have squirrelled away corn, peas and broad beans from the spring and summer harvest that we are just now starting to enjoy and eat.
Excited by cool weather and the return of camp fire cooking, I found myself stoking the coals of the fire pit in my veg garden. I set up my camp cooking tripod which I've carrying around with me since I was about 13. The large hanging frypan is perfect for cooking paella, and sure enough I had bubbling away a broad bean paella, with home made chorizo, home grown onions, garlic, parsley, passata and wild duck stock. It's a beautiful paella, fresh and delicious. And not an ounce of seafood to be seen.
Sitting by the fire admiring my handy work in the garden, I couldn't help but notice the new broad beans popping out of the ground. I planted them a week or so ago from seeds saved from the same crop I was cooking my dinner with. Here in the ground was the my future food. While I was eating the paella I enjoyed the feeling and comfort of the cyclic nature of nature. Seed gets planted, they germinate, they flower then fruit and finally get harvested. Eventually the next round of seed returns to the soil to continue the cycle. It's a beautiful thing. Just wondrous when you take the time to think about it.
I'm currently preparing a new talk for this years lecture series. I've written about my own cyclic history, how I was raised on the land with nature, I then left for the city, lived a corporate life, then finally returned as the older version of me, to a life deeply embedded in nature. Just like the bean seeds, I can't help but be cyclic.