Fall Harvest – as Bounty for the Mind

If you view fall’s harvest or September’s full moon as a festive wonder, you’ll also want to spot celebrations fit for storing sustenance to use in colder, darker seasons. Or do you?

fall leaves Perhaps while caught up in the delights of fall, you fail to think much about winter.  Even so, that does not stop winter’s freeze from coming.  Nor will lack of planning now stall your need later to find food in your brain’s larder for the coming challenges of a chilly season.

Like fall’s plentiful fresh food, mental sustenance is also plentiful in certain seasons. In darker seasons of scarcity though, we retrieve wisdom to hold onto our sense of wonder by drawing on happier, or more meaningful experiences. September’s fall harvest, reminds us to store these for retrieval as fuel throughout winter’s freeze. How so?

Just as animals prepare to move when autumn signals winter, we can migrate so to speak, by heading south where living is easier.  Let’s face it though, like many mammals and some birds most of us cannot migrate far. Instead we navigate dark winter mental seasons with sizzling strategies stockpiled in nutritional storerooms.

In many cases folks tend to slow down a bit in winter. We tend to huddle into sheltered mental dens or slip into regular states of inertia.  In order to emerge in good shape after a lengthy winter freeze though, we need strategies and well stored bounty, from  mental reserves.

In much the same way black bears eat ravenously in early fall to add one-third of their body weight in the months before they hide away in dens, we deliberately store mental reserves before darker seasons strike.

Like deer build fat reserves to nurture them through winters of scarce food, where they’re restricted to winter rations of tree buds or less, we too can store mental equivalents of beechnut, acorns or berries to thrive during colder days.

It’s often a matter of deliberate decisions to go after ‘brain” food to sustain you in tougher times, when storms roll in. In fall, turkeys and ruffed grouse compete for prize foods, full of protein and fat, in competition  for sufficient food to shape-up for winter. Soft berries, grapes, and other fruits act like ice cream for delayed dessert. What will you choose for mental reserves?

What you stockpile will differ depending on how you navigate challenges. Animals such as squirrels, blue jays, and chickadees, for instance, remain relatively active throughout their winter challenge. Yes, they still need a cache of food, but these birds store it one seed at a time, unlike squirrels and mice who pile reserves into sheltered places and enjoy root cellar reserves until the next sunny season of plenty.

Singer-song writer, Amanda McBroom put it this way:

When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long, and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong, just remember, in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow, lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.

What fall foliage will pack your mental stash before the changing of the leaves alters your mental cycle from bountiful to bare or hidden beneath the bitter snow?

Time equals value here. Just as food value in leaves peaks when they’re green, while it lessens when they lose chlorophyll and change color, you’ll want to gather early before mental opportunities disappear or nourishment dries up on a forest floor. How so?

What nugget of wisdom would most prepare you for mental challenges in the fast-approaching winter season?

 

 

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