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Indian Summer

November 3rd, 2015

Indian Summer

 

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For over 200 years, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has adhered to the saying, “If All Saints’ (November 1) brings out winter, St. Martin’s (November 11) brings out Indian summer.” So I guess according to them it is technically not Indian summer. However in this case, it is warm 70’s and has followed a period of cold, but I’ll go with The Farmer’s Almanac and say it’s not yet Indian Summer. My grandfather swore by it, counted on its knowledge, its dates, its predictions to organize his farming life. My grandmother wished he swore as much to the Bible.

Some say the early Algonquian Native Americans believed that the condition was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their southwestern god, Cautantowwit.

The origin probably goes back to the very early settlers in New England. Each year they would welcome the arrival of a cold wintry weather in late October when they could leave their stockades unarmed. But then came a time when it would suddenly turn warm again, and the Native Americans would decide to have one more go at the settlers. “Indian summer,” the settlers called it.

Whatever the meaning or where it came from, for me it was always a time of harvest, a time to be in the field with my father, help my grandfather drive the truck, and a time to thank God for another year that the earth sustained us.