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  • Ellen Romer Niemiec

Make Way for Something New

I measure the seasons by my notebook of grocery lists. Cold salads, watermelon gazpacho, grilled vegetables and meats have been dominating the pages. Late summer has crept in as zucchini, tomatoes and corn step into the spotlight. I am almost jittery in anticipation of soup weather to settle in. Quick ones I can make when I get home for the kids. The slow and patient recipes waiting for a lazy Sunday or a Monday morning visit to my crockpot.


It’s time to shift. I am spending my weekend overhauling our outside spaces. Tomato plants are getting pulled from their pots. My rosemary, thyme and sage are moving indoors to stay safe and make their way into our soup bowls. Mums will move into the now empty pots and grace our front door before we cover up our table and grill before the cold and snow settles in.


There is plenty to pull out of the ground. I need to cherish the goodness of the summer. The busyness of summer camp, family visits, walks to get ice cream, dipping our toes into the ocean, and lakeside swings.


Some things that I pull out of the ground simply didn’t work. My basil never quite got off the ground - it just wasn’t it’s year. I had plenty of plans this summer that through time, circumstance and quite likely the grace of God, simply didn’t come to fruition. Some of that I might mourn. Some of it I may continue to question and hopefully not obsess over, but resolve to revisit and try again. I need a better plan for my basil and can make some adjustments.


The part I am never good at is planting for spring. Whether it's tulips or crocuses, some plants do better when we bury them in the ground and simply let them go. It’s such an act of faith to put a seed into the ground and trust that it will do better if left on its own through the winter. You have to walk away and trust that even if it seems counter intuitive, God will take it from here and it is just as it should be.


I am excited for the vegetables - the squash, pumpkins, brussels sprouts - that have taken all summer to really grow. To come into their fullness is something that can’t be rushed. They bloom and grow with a little extra time to roast and braise. That warm my body when it’s cold and my soul when it struggles. Taking more time goes against so many other parts of my world that tell me to do more and do it faster and get it done. But whatever rushing and convenience you can come up with, it does not replace the gift and grace of giving yourself more time.


I marvel at how seasons change and look different depending on where your feet are. How God reminds us over and over and over and over again that whatever season we are in will come to an end and make way for something new. That as we step into fall and the daylight wanes, we can hopefully see the goodness of resting. To give ourselves more time to let our own flavors and the very best parts of us blossom. We don’t have to be in the spotlight all the time. We don’t have to do it all. We can bury parts of us that need more time and entrust them to God’s care so that they can really come to life.



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