Autumn - A Beautiful Mess
Posted by : Grant Maxwell /
A beautiful mess.
Autumn is a cherished time of year for me - being a time of reflection and stillness after eventful summer happenings, but equal parts preparation and anticipation for the cold and languid days of winter.
It's the season that can hold us in an attitude of thanks, remembrance, and maybe at times a little bit of melancholy.
I like to think of it as that moment of pause between inhale and exhale.
Or that hug with a loved one that lasts extra long, because you both know you won't be seeing each other again for a while.It's almost as though the autumn months bring us into the present more than any other season, as we suddenly become aware that something so good is about to leave, doing all we can to hold on to and be completely there in those final moments of summer.
Growing up within the Central Otago surrounds, I carry vivid memories and nostalgic reminders of the privilege we have in this country being able to foster such a glorious connection to the land.
We are especially lucky in Queenstown, witnessing every season showcase an inimitable splendour - I'm convinced there is nothing and nowhere quite like it...
Mid March rolls around and all of a sudden the open, rural landscapes are littered with even more texture and brightness. Driveways are lined with gigantic poplar trees that act like lines of fire drawing toward the direction of homes with smoke pouring from chimneys into the crisp but clear sky. The late afternoon sun hanging low over the mountains, making every hint of gold seem all the more intense.
I recently came across a term, or notion from Denmark which I think sums up the look, smell, feel and meaning of autumn brilliantly. It's called Hygge - described as "life's moments brimming with happiness, comfort, loved ones, favourite things, beautiful places. The feeling of savouring the present moment."
In efforts to foster this attitude of total health, healing and comfort, and since we usually associate such qualities with the devouring of good food as the cold sets in, it's important to remember to eat produce that is seasonally appropriate. In the months to come we want to be doing so in order to best build up our immunity and resilience to ensure our bodies are apt to ward off any illness and infection. The best place to start is by acknowledging the paramount importance of a happy, healthy gut. Around 80% of our immune system resides in the GI tract, which means taking care of our tums is a sure fire way to make dealing with the ills a lot less frequent! Warming foods including stews, soups / broths, fermented foods and slow cooked grass-fed meats are an excellent way to repair and restore intestinal flora...and it's an added bonus when the house not only feels as cosy and inviting as Nanna's, but smells and tastes like it too.