harvest thoughts from a gardener who reads scripture

I have felt on occasion, that we time some of our holidays at the wrong time. For instance it always feels ( to me at least )  as if it is a new year come fall.

Right smack in the doldrums of winter doesn’t make as much sense to me. When I was growing up…going back to school and the end of summer felt like a new beginning and new year much more than January 1st.

Then there’s Thanksgiving. What’s with THAT! The harvest has been over for ages….there’s a timing that makes no sense for sure.

I think God’s way in the Old Testament makes far more sense. The New Year starts in September for the Jewish people. This year Rosh Hashanah will be celebrated September 24-26. Many of the festivals are celebrated around agricultural cycles. Why in the world did the Christian church replace these sensible festivals at sensible times…who knows. They are all in the Bible.

ANYWAY..avoiding theology here, and just looking at things from a common-sense perspective as a gardener who reads the Bible :

Prior to starting this post, I picked some more tomatoes. A month from now, around Rosh Hashanah, they’ll most likely all be done, and if not, I’ll be watching for frost advisories. A month from now I’ll be trimming trees and bushes, tearing out withering vines, the vegetable plants that are done….turning over soil and adding the compost-turned-soil materials into the garden beds for the next growing season. The old….will be piled into garbage cans. What if I combined these chores with a spiritual meaning?

Then, there is Sukkot. This year Sukkot starts the evening of October 8th and ends the evening of October 15th. I read about Sukkot years ago and wished that I could have a handy guy build me a booth and I’d go to town decorating it! :) Our Thanksgiving should be like this, timed right,  and then if it were, we’d have no need to spend, decorate, etc. so much for Halloween…because this is a festival where an outdoor booth is erected, and decorated with pumpkins, cornstalks, all manner of harvest materials and other things. It is the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. It’s all in the Bible.

Basically one is erecting a temporary booth / shelter outdoors for a week, decorating it with all manner of harvest materials, and eating / spending time out there for the duration as much as possible, with a spiritual meaning behind it and infusing it.

The booth is to remind people of the temporary huts that the Israelites lived in while wandering in the wilderness.

Makes far more sense than having a Thanksgiving for the Harvest in late November. I am sure that God doesn’t mind that, but He probably just shakes His head and thinks that we are a bit nuts :)

Because we could be doing that around harvest time…’after you have gathered the produce …Be joyful at your feast”.  ( Deuteronomy 16 )

I Googled “Beautiful Sukkot Booths’ and there is a lovely and diverse variety on the Net.

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19 Responses to harvest thoughts from a gardener who reads scripture

  1. Darlene says:

    I agree with you! Our holidays don’t make sense a lot of the time! I’m going to check out the Sukkot Booths, that’s new to me.

  2. Sally says:

    I hear you. Not as versed in the Bible as you are, but everything makes more sense than the way we have it.

  3. Your thoughts about the new year and autumn jive with the liturgical year of the Orthodox Church. We start the year on Sept 1, and some of the reasons are in my post on the subject and are tied to what you note about the Jewish calendar.
    http://gretchenjoanna.com/2013/09/03/know-this-and-let-your-heart-dance-for-joy/
    So…so, not very early after all, I wish you a Happy New Year!

  4. Lorrie says:

    Our holidays (holy days) do seem rather topsy turvy at times. I’m pleased to say that Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday of October, a time when crops are safely gathered in before the descent of winter. Harvest Sunday celebrations in England fall around the same time, I believe, although the Brits don’t have a national holiday.

  5. maxine lesline says:

    The pilgrims, in cold unhospitable Massachusetts, were thankful to have lived another year and the Elders declared a ritual time of thanksgiving. Had they settled further south, Thanksgiving would likely have been earlier in the autumn. I loved Thanksgiving at my grandparents house…. and those who were farmers, having finished harvesting, had time to relax with the family. Climate and history dictate much of our lives, don’t you think?

  6. Grandma Kc says:

    It may not be right but I like having Thanksgiving in November where in most places in won’t matter if you have the on all day. Maybe I’ve just got accustomed to having it then.

  7. Judy says:

    Wasn’t Jesus really born in September? Guess we have ChristMass in December to help take away the winter blues. I don’t know. Blame St. Gregory for setting up the calendar we live by today.

  8. Doreen Krajzel says:

    Goodness, I agree with you wholeheartedly! By the time Thanksgiving gets here, we are all thinking of Christmas and all the work and cost of this holiday. How lovely it would be to have Thanksgiving in Oct. I was reading about Moses and the Israelites having their festivals etc. at the appropriate time. God is very specific about this. I have heard of sukkot booths and plan to google it. Great post! Have a great day! Hugs, Doreen

  9. BillieBee says:

    I’ve not thought about it much, but I do wait every year for the Fall. It’s a calming Season for me. Just not long enough in Texas.

  10. Balisha says:

    You are responsible for my spending way too much time here on the computer today. I had to google Sukkot Booths. I had never heard of this and found the info very interesting. I even watched a video of a Sesame St. story about them.
    Oct. would be a great time for Thanksgiving.
    Balisha

  11. Guess I’ve never given it much thought. I just enjoy holidays for the pure joy of them. It was interesting to read your perspective on this subject.

  12. kaholly says:

    Such lovely flowers and a pretty house to display them in!! In that first picture, is that beautiful climbing plant with the yellow flowers a Sweet Potato Vine/plant? I love it!

  13. I’m with you. New Year’s Day we’re all freezing and the snow is flying. Bah Humbug.

  14. Joyce says:

    Very interesting! I’ve never given much thought or invested research into the observations you’ve mentioned. The Feast of Booths – my, my! I’m with you – that one would be such fun to decorate for!
    I’ve read that Jesus was born in April – but who really knows? I think he’s just glad there are people left who recognize his day for what it really means!

  15. Debbie H says:

    Well I think it is all about perspective. Here in central Florida we are starting our fall/ winter crops which include some tomatoes. As for Thanksgiving, it is usually an air conditioning day because of all the oven heat. People who haven’t lived in Florida or not long think there is no Autumn here but there is. We have some trees that shed their leaves and other changes in the Fall. As for Christmas, we can have a beach day or we can have a hard freeze. If nothing else it keeps you guessing. LOL Oh, and Dec. 25th is the birthday of a pagan king who tied his birthday in with Christs’ birthday. He was a little full of himself.

  16. Connie says:

    I guess I’ve never given much thought to the calendar and holidays but you post makes sense. I do agree thought with Debbie that is kind of about perspective too depending on where you live. BUT, I too always feel like fall is kind of a beginning of a new year and I think having the New Year begin then would be great :)

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