Well it’s official. The fall fairs have tolled the end of summer with their giant pumpkins and best of class animal shows. The robins and swallows of summer have flown while the apples of fall have ripened. And all of this magic happened right before our eyes.
Fall apples are among my favourite treats. At our farm they arrive as a gift. The former owner left the fencerows lined with macs, snows, spys and crabs. Every year they give us more apples than we can use which is saying a lot because we use a lot of apples. This year was a very good one. It seems that when the berries struggle, the apples thrive here.
As a boy I used to love picking apples from trees as I walked to and from school in the fall. It often seemed that the one I really wanted was just out of reach so it took some ingenuity to get it. That act always made me feel a bit guilty because they were not our apples and they were on the other side of a fence. Now I get to recapture some of the same feelings as I walk the dogs around the fields tasting our own apples as I go. These apples, though, offer more versatility than just eating. They make apple sauce and apple crisp, pies and jellies. Most of all, just the having and picking them makes us feel blessed.
Fairs and apples yield to fall colours that dazzle the eye. People who live in ordinary cities have no idea what it means to walk out in the early morning with your dogs to watch the sun rise against a maple forest in full colours. The sight can take your breath away. There’s much to be said in praise of City of Kawartha Lakes as one season rolls into another.
Other cities have turned fields, wetlands and forest into concrete and box stores, steel and glass, all in the name of progress. You know, it’s funny, but when I look back into my childhood I don’t remember the roads or the parking lots or the buildings. What comes down across the years as having shaped me as an adult are the bike rides to the beach, the hikes in the forest, the camping trips and picking apples off trees. We already have the real thing here that other neighbouring cities have lost but wish they could recover.
A few weeks ago city council chose a “made in Omemee”, answer to a water and sewage issue. What a great moment that was in the life of our young city. It represented a recognition that a way of life that our citizens value, should not be thrown aside in the name of progress. That was a decision to be praised all across the city.
So now as fall settles in with its harvest, its colours and its night of Kawartha cuisine, routines involving school, office and clubs resume in earnest. Closing one garden allows us to begin planning the next. Summer has been a sand castle, fun to build, but always destined to be washed away by the waves. I think tomorrow I will plant next summer’s garlic in the garden. When the snow melts in the spring shoots will already be sprouting as a promise of new beginning in another season. Until winter, however, there’s still the apples. See you next time.