“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” – William Blake
Near where we live, when the autumn light is just so and everything seems to shimmer, golden, harvest means a time to reflect on the season of growth past and preparing for the winter to come.
As a child, I grew up in a family dependent on the harvest. My parents were small business people and the harvest determined how our business would be for the coming months.
As a teenager and adult, BC (before children), I walked the fields to hunt pheasants and enjoy the peacefulness and the rush of dry grain against my oiled boots. Now, as a father, harvest time is one of reflection – walking the fields and seeing what the hard work of preparing the soil, planting, tending, hoping, and the bringing in the crops means.
Harvest presents all sorts of wonderful things to do with and for your child. Our favorites in the Upper Midwest, where our whole family was born and raised, are as simple as going for a walk and finding leaves or going on a drive as the trees change.
We love a trip to the apple orchard in late summer and early fall to fill baskets to bake apple pies together. And later in the fall, we head out for gourds and pumpkins to carve, paint, and make (again) into pies. Most of all, we like to smell the crisp autumn air and star gaze as night time comes earlier each day.
Autumn also is a great time to see big machinery at work and to talk about the purpose of each of those behemoths, from combines to grain carts to semis and grain elevators. It creates an opportunity to engage your child in conversations about the cycle of life, from field to factory to table. Harvest also is ripe with animals readying for winter and can help parents and children talk about the long winter ahead and how animals and people – today and long ago – prepared and stored food to weather the cold.
Really, harvest time is for harvesting time with your child. Spend some time thinking on the summer past, taking in the brisk air, going for walks, and taking your child away from the every day of school. It’s a chance for you to go hand-in-hand through the fields, experiencing the space between seasons.
About the Author
Bill Anderson is a father of four who shares his experiences about parenting and life with Guidepost Parent.
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