Arboretum News

Connect to the Earth and its Seasons

All of our existence is in relationship to the earth guided by the daily ebb and flow cycles and patterns - especially in this time of seasonal change.

Cucurbita harvest at the Arboretum’s Horticultural Research Center in 2021. Photo by Sara Pace.

By Jean Larson, manager of the Nature-Based Therapeutic Services Program at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Joy Harjo, a favorite poet of mine, has written an amazing piece titled “Remember.” It is about understanding that we humans need to respect all that nature gives us, and be thankful for it. One of the lines reads “…remember the earth whose skin you are,” which is literal truth.  As the saying goes “we come from the earth, return to the earth, and in between we garden” – but in this case, garden can be expanded to mean how the earth sustains us with daily food, air, water and shelter. 

All of our existence is in relationship to the earth guided by the daily ebb and flow cycles and patterns – especially in this time of seasonal change.  Giving our attention to the seasons can be a practice of remembering. To remember the seasons is a mark in time that corresponds to our connection to the changing landscape and our sensory perception to it.  That is, we see the leaves falling off the tree, the cold wind that escorts the first snow, and the sound of birds returning in the spring – all as neurologic cues to our connection to nature and relationship to planet earth.

One of the most obvious ways of connecting to the seasons is through our food.  Food nourishes body, mind and spirit and unites us all. To eat is to personify the earth and her cycles of life and death.  Think about it, everything we eat has its roots in the earth; everything we eat exists in relationship to the rotating planet!  Eating is an opportunity to a deeper relationship with the planet.  Eating is a seasonal invitation to give meaning and gratitude to the earth.   

This month as we celebrate the season – keep in mind the thing that is bringing you to the table is that which unites us all and is another opportunity to remember.

Get inspiration for preparing a seasonal meal from Seasons of the Monastic Table for an Autumn Meal Menu and Recipes.

2 comments on “Connect to the Earth and its Seasons

  1. Thank you Jean. Very nice energy throughout your article.

  2. Thank you Jean. Very nice energy throughout your article.

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