By SLIM RANDLES
To The Desert Independent
November 2, 2016
“All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin …” so goes the famous hymn we once learned in Sunday school and didn’t figure out what it meant for another 20 years or so.
But now is the time of harvest. Now is the gathering in. The crops are gathered in. Firewood for winter storms is gathered in. Fruit from the orchards is gathered in. This year’s crop of spring calves is gathered in.
We look around us on the farm or the ranch, or even in an apartment in the city, and we ask ourselves … are we ready for the winter storms? Even in places that don’t have winter storms, we still ask the same questions. Because we’re human. We know, inside, through eons of gathering in for winter, that we must be prepared for the bad things. And winter is usually the season we associate with the bad things.
Human beings are not as naturally suited to fend off cold and wind and snow and hunger as well as our forest neighbors. Our “coats” don’t get a furry undercoat that is waterproof and weatherproof. If we gain extra weight before winter, it’s usually not because we fear a famine, but because we just like eating pizza while watching football.
So we have to be smarter than the deer and the coyote and even the packrat. They don’t know why they do these things to survive until spring. We do. We know and we plan and work hard. It isn’t natural for us, the way it is for our coyote brothers. They just do it. We plan.
But we do plan, and that means when the darkness descends and the hushing of snow covers our homes, we can sit in the recliner by the fire and have another bite of pizza.
We won … once again.