Early September is a wierd time. Officially summer doesn’t end for a few weeks, but our hearts and souls are already saying good-bye. It’s not only that we’ve packed up from the beach house and stopped jumping in the pool at every opportunity. It’s not even that the kids have gone back to school–thank god, although we’ll miss them! It must be that little nip in the air, the extra angle of the sunlight in the afternoon, or seeing the stars come out earlier each night.
At the same time, while the garden might be producing at full -swing, things are starting to look a little worn around the edges in the landscape. I’m picking a basketful of tomatoes a day but the lower leaves of my tomato plants are turning yellow and the vines are looking thin and straggly. Already we are on to a third generation of cucumber plants and the earlier vines are long dead and composted while the zukes are down to their last few fruits. The beans are still abundant but the leaves on the poles are turning rough and red.
So even while I rejoice in these gorgeous days of clear sun and cool nights, my heart aches a little knowing it will soon all be gone. Even as we celebrate the harvest we must prepare ourselves for winter. In these days of easy supermarket produce, this is less about storing up our larder and more about fortifying our souls for the cold months ahead. Fortunately the fall bulb catalogue have already arrived and I can spend the coming weeks planning and planting for a flower-filled Spring to come.