Friday, September 21, 2007

Autumn Equinox

Time has come again when we will experience the two times a year when light and dark are equal and balanced. Day and night are each 12 hours long. We mark this time with harvest festivals and spooky, superstitious rituals that playfully caution us about the long nights ahead.

The Spring Equinox seems to come and go without my ever noticing. But I have been honoring the Autumn Equinox for a number of years now. It is a perceptible time of change, apparently one I am awake to. This is especially true with the passing of my mother in law in recent days.

Today was a needed day of nurturing. I took a nap. I did not practice Pilates. I washed clothes. And I pulled together ingredients for a Butternut Squash and Apple soup from my fridge bins. As Doug and I were chopping, it occurred to me that this was our first autumnal meal. The winter squash has a tough exterior, which helps it to endure. The apples are plentiful and help to sweeten things a bit.

My usual observance is to make a seasonal soup. Usually, I pull out a recipe with black beans, chorizo sausage, sweet potatoes and corn. I like to roast tomatoes in the oven before they go into the pot. This year's inspiration was Ina Garten's Butternut and Apple Soup. I substituted ginger and cinnamon for the curry. I also prepared homemade Pumpernickel croutons from a beautiful loaf of bread that I got a Paula's Bear Moon Bakery in Boerne, TX a few days ago.

Soon we will be facing Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve holidays. In this brief moment of time, we can recognize and rejoice in universal balance, abundant bounty and space to rest and catch our breath.

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