I love this time of year.
I love the flavors, the smells, the colors. The warmth that it exudes, and most especially the abundance that defines this season.
This season has a special feel for me, because as a Minnesota transplant into Miami, I do miss the first signs of a cold nip in the air, the changing leaves from the calming, bright green to the vibrant fires of fall. With the changing seasons also meant a shift in physical activities for me: it meant cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and tobogganing. Things clearly and poignantly absent in Miami.
But the autumn season makes it’s way down here in it’s own special way. I always know autumn has arrived when pomegranates make their appearance in the grocery stores. Then the gourds show up: pumpkin, butternut squash, spaghetti squash. The prices fr organic beets drop, and the size of their bulbs grow substantially. That’s what I love and adore about nature: how abundant it truly is, and how we are all completely provided for.
Today I made butternut squash for the first time ever for my boyfriend. I hadn’t had it in forever and I saw it at Trader Joe’s when I went to go get some flowers for inside and outside the house (one benefit of living in Miami: outdoors in shorts all year!) and I knew I had to make it.
I gutted the squash and kept the seeds to make my favorite fall-time snack: roasted seeds. My dad would make us these when we were kids and carved our pumpkins. I had never had squash seeds before today, so I thought I would give them a try. And I am so glad I did!
I tossed the little seeds in avocado oil and salt and pepper. I roasted them in the oven alongside the squash for about 15 minutes. The best roasted seeds of any kind do no come in packages in supermarkets: they come directly from your oven, hot and roast and still sizzling a little bit, the salt melting a bit on it’s crust. I had peeled a fresh pomegranate, and I tossed the two together for the best pre-lunch snack ever. It was Al’s first time having both pomegranates and freshly roasted seeds; I had to remind him to leave me some!
One thing came up for me while I was preparing all of this food: the abundance of our lives.
It amazes me how one fruit or gourd can produce the possibility to make hundreds more just like it. And those, in turn, also produce hundreds more. I got into a curious conversation with someone last week who was utterly convinced the world is overpopulated and should not have the ability to sustain itself. She had preached to me the importance of vegan organic diets. She also brought up lack of water: how animals need more water to grow than plants. I gently reminded her that vegetables need way more water than wheat to grow, too (she abstained from wheat for health reasons-good choice!). I am in full support of anyone who wishes to be vegan; I have no problem with that at all. It was the sense I picked up on that she seemed to be coming from a space of complete lack. I am not sure if it is related to something within herself, or how she perceives her life, but I felt bad for her, and told her so. She truly believe the planet could not support the population it has.
Here is what I say to conversationalists of this topic: are we suffering? Are we lacking in ANY kind of food, organic or otherwise? Why complain, when we have so much great, energetic, nutritious food at our fingertips, and it only takes a moment to feed ourselves in a healthy and vibrant way?
I agree with the organic practice. I saw in this young girl who I was in high school: fearful of what was to come is “everyone else” didn’t change their ways. Fearful of what I was putting into my body, afraid of fish because of possible contaminants. Afraid of waking up tomorrow and grocery shelves are empty because there won’t be enough.
But every day we wake up, and there is enough. Because, truthfully, the planet CAN support our population. The only thing that is missing is the willingness to be grateful for everything we have that comes from the earth. Gratitude creates more of what we want and need. Instead of purchasing vegetables and proteins with a worrying sense of “this isn’t enough!!!” why not just a simple “thank you” instead? Worry is decay. Fear is death. Bring about the death of both of those things with a heartfelt thank you.
I truly believe Thanksgiving should be practiced every meal, for the simple fact of: what a wonderful PRACTICE!
When I used to think that way about the planet, I used to think that way about all aspects of my life. It was a sense of complete lack in faith of being provided for by the universe, and a lack in trust of myself to have the brains and the brawn to make things happen for me. It was truly crushing to my life.
I chose instead to shift my focus. Every single healthy thing I eat, I say a silent “thank you”. Every time I purchase food at a restaurant or supermarket I say “thank you”. I feel my digestion has been better, my energy has been higher, and I am eating more fruits and vegetables (with my meat, chicken and fish!) in a higher volume than before.
Peeling today’s cheery, red pomegranate and scooping and roasting the squash seeds were my morning meditation today. It was staring into the depths of both of these amazing fall fruits that brought this realization to me on how abundant our lives are. We have everything we need, sometimes we need to cut it out, scoop it out, rinse it, roast it, work for it in any way, shape or form, but, in the end, we can all benefit from the harvest we sow.
The greatest harvest when can sow is the harvest in our minds: the thoughts we choose to cultivate, the actions we choose to practice in our bodies as well in our hearts and heads. These things are the things that add the specific energy to our lives that either slows us down or energizes us.
Choose positive thoughts that are as glowing at the freshest seeds in a pomegranate. One single pomegranate yields hundreds of seeds, and it is the same as our thoughts. Negative thoughts equal negative thoughts, and positive thoughts equal positive thoughts. They build upon each other; it is impossible to have only one. You plant one seed, and hundreds grow.
If you are struggling with negativity in your life, wash it away and peel open a pomegranate of your very own, and see how much life has to offer you. Be in appreciation of the growing ability of nature and your life, because you are the most natural thing you know on this planet.
Believe in the abundance and health of your life. It’s the best gift you can give yourself on a daily basis.