Sunday, September 13, 2009


Fall seems like such a season of changes, perhaps because we are moving into the dark of the year and we resist the changes. We have pulled all the vegetables and added compost and manure to the gardens. We will mulch and leave them over the winter. The tomato late blight really dampened the fun of gardening this summer, though the purple beans and peas did very well. The cucumbers didn't, but they never do. I need to test the soil for ph.
Days are visibly shorter. School has started. Changes. In my climate, where there is real winter, there is never enough summer. In the south, by September I was frantic for it to cool down, to be able to open windows again, for fall flowers. Here, there is a desperate last blooming. Asters, Queen Anne's lace, golden rod cover the roadsides. This year there has been so much rain that the flowers embody the word 'profuse." In the garden, golden and red mums begin to look like a reflection of the turning trees, a last glory before the snow comes. Here, where we could have snow in the a month or so.
Seth and Elana are coming in a month, snow would not be the welcome we'd hope to give them. Better the soft golden glow of a long warm autumn, the richness of Keat's sonnet laid out in welcome, apples, pumpkins, cornstalks and the mellow hazy air that marks a good October. The year disappearing softly into winter, a season most of us dislike. That is all right. We should dislike winter. It is hard and deadly. There will be a winter baby here this year, a new life coming around the solstice, to mark the turn of the light, the lengthening days, like the buds that lie furled on branches through the winter, promising.


  1. "We should dislike winter?" I think I would have to disagree with that. I'll admit that it's been a long time since I experienced an entire winter (nearly twenty-five years since I moved from Minnesota to Georgia, where what we call "winter" is a pale imitation of the real thing), but I don't recall disliking winter while I had it. I was getting tired of the length of Minnesota winters; that was one of the reasons I moved to Georgia. In Minnesota, winter is most of six months long, and that's a bit too much of a good thing, but I always found winter to be a perfect excuse for staying indoors and reading, or working on my computer, or even going for a walk at night and listening to my boots crunching on the snow. (The snow makes a startlingly high-pitched squeak/crunch underfoot when it's cold enough, say about -10 degrees F. I do miss that. A little.)

    On a not at all unrelated note, my scorpion has died. The one I've been keeping in a jar since I caught it in the upstairs hall, just outside the doorway to the computer room. Where I seldom wear shoes. Places with real winters seldom have scorpions outside terrariums and zoos, for which I was insufficiently thankful while I lived north of the Mason-Dixon line.

  2. Well the baby is definitely something to look forward to in the winter! :) I agree summer is too long in the south and too short up north.