In Season

Yearning, desire, hope, savoring and everything that is worth waiting for or doing slowly is now considered archaic. It is as if we have lost out ability to be patient, to believe in the future, to be content while we wait. We see it on our angry driving, impetuous dating, thoughtless eating. We have become rapacious, but nothing is able to satisfy our hunger. We need to slow down, and when we do, we will see that we have been missing has always been there.

A palpable hunger throbbed in the crowds at the Winter Farmer’s Market, where of the two dozen vendors who offered farm fresh eggs, all were sold out of them in the first hour. The "Buy Local" movement is in full swing. Much of what was available – carrots, potatoes, onions, turnips and other root crops I grow myself so have no need of. But the fresh Belgian endives, the fish, the local shrimp which are running now, were very tempting. All of it brought to mind the phrase in season, which holds no meaning for so many. Something has been lost.

Our impatience with the limits of nature, our demand that all food be available fresh year round – oysters, lamb, strawberries, apples, lettuce – is economically destructive, and spiritually shriveling. Anyone who has not stained their fingers with warm wild strawberries in the Spring has missed something. As the days begin to lengthen animals come "in season," ready for breeding in anticipation of the bounty ahead. "Modern" farmers confine animals to barns where they can manipulate the light, fool the animals into breeding out of season, and produce "hot house lambs" which may never see the out of doors.

It is not to late to slow down, to amble, to wander, to feel the sun on your back.