How Summer Helped Me to Get Ready for Fall and Winter


healthy aging

As the days shorten, the sunny hours become more precious. I grab a hold of them as if they are a lifeline strung between me and the darkness that increasingly envelops me as the days roll toward the winter solstice. It resembles a slow drowning into the depth of the season.

Taking a sunny afternoon walk, I reflect on everything that happened in the last six months of light, travel and a long hiking season. Did the spring and summer seasons transform me?

Inspired to Be Strong and Fit

New neurons fill my brain. They formed as I walked, balanced, climbed and moved – day in, day out – on the trail. New synapses connect the neurons and help me balance, judge distance and calculate my step with ease.

I am sure-footed, my knee swells no more after a four-hour hike and my back is straighter from carrying the pack. Also, the thoracic bulging disk, poking out after an over-enthusiastic swing-up-overhead of a sweep rowing boat, seems to have receded.

I gained confidence this summer. I can still use my body in ways I feared I had lost.

Nourished by Food

The produce of my spring and summer garden nourished my body. Working the soil gave me movement and joy, eating the produce gave me health, taste and delight in the bounty of nature.

Each time a new crop was produced, my taste buds exploded. There was an abundance of fresh peas and fava beans, tender lettuce, chewy bitter spinach, deep flavored greens cooked or torn raw into salads.

There was buttery broccoli, red cabbage made into bright red sauerkraut, new potatoes…