Autumn is the season of the harvest. The wheat has matured and turned the fields to waves of gold. The tomatoes are ready for picking, apples hang heavy on the trees and sweet potatoes and pumpkins are turning a rich, ripe orange. Cultures all over the world celebrate reaping the fruits of their labors and such festivals are a chance for us to think about what we will be reaping at the end of this year. What seeds did we sow over the past months? What relationships did we water? What commitments did we neglect?
Fall is more than just the season of the harvest. For students everywhere, it is a new start. Fall is the beginning of a new school year and with that comes a chance to improve on past successes, learn from previous mistakes, form good habits and break poor ones. As the grain is threshed and the trees turn red, people everywhere have the chance to reflect on the past year and plan for the one to come.
What seeds did you plant back in the spring that are ready for harvesting now? Were you kind to a new coworker, who is now your friend? Did you welcome a new neighbor, whose kids are now playmates with your own? Did you decide to learn something new and are now celebrating your increased knowledge?
We are lucky that opportunities to grow are not found only in spring. We can plant those seeds of growth whenever we wish. This issue shares stories of those who breathed new life into their marriage by watering the wilting plant with honesty. Others planted the seeds of responsibility in their teens by giving them an allowance and watched those crops grow slowly over years. Still others made the soil fertile for their children and helped them plant the seeds of creativity with something as simple as a brown paper bag. The fruits of such labors are not harvested only in autumn.
As the seasons change and the world shifts away from summer, make the changes in your life you wish to implement. Winter will settle in sooner than any of us ever plan on. Even now, as temperatures still soar into the 90s and thunderstorms still rumble across the sky, the days grow shorter and the earth prepares to sleep. This year’s crop still flows thick out of the fields, with no plan of stopping just yet. Farmers are hauling in carrots, eggplants, onions, peppers and squash.
What will you be harvesting this time next year?