by Kimberly Mitchell, Miss October 2016
I love the decorations we see in October. Pumpkins and hay bales, cornucopias full of vegetables, and of course those beautiful fall leaves. It seems like nature is celebrating the harvest with us.
Most of us aren’t involved in harvesting food in the fall, unless you’ve kept your summer garden going, but I think it’s still a natural time to reflect on the year. The older I get, the more I think our lives move in seasons that mirror nature, whether we’re in a time of preparing the fields, sowing, tending or harvesting.
We recently had our first child. The journey to becoming parents was a long one for us, so welcoming our daughter into the world in August felt like a harvest celebration of sorts. I’ve also been pursuing publishing for years. In July, I signed my first book contract. Those two events, which happened barely a month apart, were the culmination of years of hard work, prayer and frankly just sticking it out and clinging to a dream when it felt like I would never see the fruit of what I was working and hoping for.
We all have those dreams in life we’re reaching for, those things that take us out of ordinary life into day-dreaming about what things will one day be like. Sowing a dream is easy. It’s what comes after you decide to pursue that dream that’s tough. It’s similar to planning your garden. When you decide to plant a garden in the spring, you’re excited about all the possibilities and harvesting the fruit of your labor. Even tilling the soil and getting it ready is exciting. Early in the season, you’re not thinking about the actual labor itself – all the weeding your garden will need, what to do if drought or a hard freeze strikes, or any number of pesky critters that could wreck your harvest.
Dreams are like that too. As you set out to accomplish that dream, you don’t know how hard it’s going to be, or how many setbacks are headed your way. We’d never jump into a new season if we did. Achieving a harvest deserves celebration because it’s not just about the harvest, it’s about the hard work and perseverance that came before it. That’s what makes harvest celebrations so joyful.
As I write this, I’ve just gotten my daughter to bed, it’s too late to be writing and the kitchen is a mess. I have deadlines to meet and tomorrow is a new day of caring for a young baby and all the challenges that come with it. I’m starting to see the work it’s going to take to raise this little girl, and to sell this book, and the next, and the next. It’s going to be hard work. Years of hard work.
So I find myself already on the verge of a new season, just as I’m celebrating the harvest of previous dreams. I don’t know what challenges are headed my way as I wade into parenting and the challenges of selling books and continuing to write will certainly be many. But this is what life is about. Sowing dreams. Tending them. Harvesting those dreams and celebrating them.
As the leaves fall this month, I’m still celebrating the harvest of these dreams I’ve pursued for so long, but I find myself day-dreaming about the next harvest, the next season. I don’t know what it will be, but when I reach it, I will celebrate.