“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address”. Read this with your best Tom Hanks impersonation and you’ll remember the origin from You’ve Got Mail. It’s a quote that races to mind this week as new faces start to dapple the campus, old faces fill my door, tanned and smiling after a summer of adventure and our gardens shift gears. This Monday our farm students will put down the fulltime role of pruning, weeding and picking and take up those pencils. Their days on the farm will be limited and hours in the books will replace those once spent in the dirt. With that we start to recognize seasons inside of seasons. Certainly the garden has many more fruits to produce, apples still to pick and prune and baskets to prepare and deliver. Yet, some larger force that governs all those under 20, and many just over, has decided that school will start…now.
I personally have always had a seasonal job. A landscaper from mid college, my falls beckoned fevered calculations on how to stretch the winter. Ironically although winter was hard on accounts it was never long enough. Regularly in September with the cooler evenings I would start a winter list of hopes needing attention and time. Then with winter assignments not quite finished I would get my first smell of fresh mulch in March and I couldn’t be pulled away from the excitement of new designs. The transition from the private workforce now to academia hasn’t changed that one bit. For those with a short attention span it fits quite well. Like the tides that ebb and flow so does my ability to focus. Life just starts to become mundane and regular when all of a sudden you wake up and today your not a farmer or landscaper you’re a student or teacher. Worse then that you may be both, and it’s fantastic. I love the randomness of the seasons. With the added early classes laced with new books, exciting learning opportunities and fresh faces those seasons become even more complex. How we get it all done on the farm will become a challenge.
I got up for my early morning run today and sat on the couch for a while. Hoping that the sun would come and the need to head out in the dark wouldn’t be. But, the larger force that governs all those things also decided it was time for sunrises to change. It was a full moon however with a clear sky and time along the glassy lake turned out to be an honor. The air was warm this morning, not a pleasure I’ll get to enjoy for much longer. Yet, in spite of all elements being so perfect like many mornings past, today you could feel the autumnal shift. Not fishermen one on the pier, no summer vacationers out for a walk with coffee or run. It was eerie quite in St. Joe today…a sure sign of fall. - Garth