I'm a warm weather kind of girl, and I'm not too keen on winter. But I must admit, I enjoy living in a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. I like the changing of gears, the refocusing that occurs at during the seasonal shifts. We start to focus on new pursuits and eat different foods. I like being a little more aware of the passing of time.
That's one of the things I love about the liturgical cycle as well. It establishes a rhythm of life, daily, weekly, and seasonally. I like noting the shift of tones from one week to the next and singing the different Resurrectional troparia. The feasts of the Church mark the passing of the year. While the Nativity of the Theotokos on September 8 still falls firmly into summer to my mind, by the Exaltation of the Cross one week later on the 14th, I can't help but start to think of fall. St. Thekla is the patron of our ladies society, so this week our parish celebrated liturgy on Wednesday evening for the Feast of St. Thekla. On Wednesday evenings our parish has vespers, dinner, and Bible study. We usually take a short break from this during the summer, and this Wednesday also served as sort of a kickoff for the fall inquirer's class and adult Bible study. The Feast of St. Thekla on September 24, falling as it does so close to the autumnal equinox, has become one of the markers of autumn to me.
So we're saying goodbye to summer around here. We got the last box from our farm co-op last week, and we're savoring the last of the warm weather vegetables. We recently enjoyed this "snacky dinner" as we call it at out house. (It doesn't sound quite as sophisticated as calling it tapas or meze, but it tastes just as good.) Snacky dinner is very simple, and we both love it. It feels very relaxed. It involves setting out a variety of snack-like foods. For us, it almost always includes hard-boiled eggs. Often it means cheese and crackers, olives and fruit, and usually something dippable. It tends to be seasonal--in the winter there is often dried fruit and citrus. On this night it was sliced tomatoes with feta and basil, a very delectable local pear or two, and the usual hard-boiled eggs. The unappetizing looking grey stuff was the star of the show. That's baba ganoush. I had a lot of eggplants hanging around. Mmmm, it was yummy. It would have been lovely with some fresh pita, but even with the last of the bag of tortilla chips it was delicious. It was a really good way to say farewell to summer.