The Autumn Equinox has come and gone, but Autumn isn’t upon us yet. The dry tag end of summer hangs on tightly to the year. Now is the season of dry corn and apples and piles of winter squash at roadside stands.
This weekend I picked some hard pears from an overburdened tree in an un mown farmyard, and later bought a bag of tart round apples from a roadside orchard. As I picked, I was struck with the thought that in our recent human past there would have been a time of year where there was no such thing as a ripe apple or pear. Oh, the flowers would swell on the trees (weather willing) and someday would be apple time, but outside of that, ripe fruit would be as ethereal a dream as that of Faery.
To preserve, though; drying the fruit or sealing it sugar, to bring it forward in time with you to the time when nowhere but in memory or hope were there sweet fruits? A small but important magic! A bending of the world. A contract writ with the Powers of nature, however our forbears named them. Spirit, imp, hermetic seal – magic nonetheless.