Today was the last drip of summer.
Tomorrow is officially autumn.
We toasted the season adieu with goblets of Kristian Regal peach sparkler before dinner. (I don't think I've ever tasted a better drink in my life.)
Feeling the change in the air, I spent some time in my neighbor's wondrous garden this weekend. The Chief rolled on his stomach like a snake, scarfing up all the dark raspberries dangling from the vine. We moved through peach and apple trees, past reaching grapevines and around colorful pepper plants. Food was everywhere. It was a God-given, man-harvested, earth-meets-heaven natural factory. For the first time, I understood how dreadful it was to be cast out of the Garden of Eden. How I want to go back.
"It is beautiful." I told my neighbor.
"Now it's getting close to the end," she said, looking towards a line of stubs where tall corn once grew.
I could see what she meant. Everything was heavy. The apple trees were being pulled down by the weight of their creation. Giant peaches sagged their way to gravity off tired limbs. Squash begged to be picked from the ground below. Abundance ending.
Page and I like to talk about the seasons as they pertain to a woman's life--as a human being, a mother, a wife, a divine entity. Spring is about youth and planting seeds--the seeds of character and knowledge. Summer is for working, weeding and cultivating those seeds--while fighting the heat and the sweat. Fall is for enjoyment in the harvest. Picking the best of the heavy fruit and tasting the flavor. When winter comes it brings with it quiet redemption, a peace of self. Best of all, after the fight of change, winter promises purity.
This summer we cultivated our tastes. We saw art in London together. We took The Chief on a food-rampage in the desert of Arizona (our tastebuds will never be the same again). We weeded together in the front flowerbeds while Dad mowed the lawn. We worked on our kitchen floor (with the help of my gracious in-laws). And we took a trip to the Pacific Coast which was slightly peppered with my pregnancy sickness. At the beginning of the season we asked for it to be fruitful. It was.
But now here is fall. And my hope is that we will sit a little more still--our heads full of fine summer memories. Stay out in the backyard longer to appreciate Chup's hard-fought lawncare--most of which was done in the dead heat--before it becomes frosted. Marinate in the sun while we can, until it offers only shorter days. In the newly floored kitchen, we will eat the pears, peppers and cherry tomatoes my neighbor bagged for me from her ample cropping. Cook meals inspired by the food we ate in Arizona. Soak in hot water tubs (rembering the ocean) with a promise of warm pajamas after drying off. Ask for less, be grateful for more.
God has given us an incredible planet. One that moves through space and creates movement in our surroundings, making us beings of transition. Even so, I always find myself fighting the changing intervals. It is not until I feel safe inside the adjustment (light patterns, weather, landscape) I can finally tranquilize. Tonight, with a peach sparkler in hand, I accepted the incoming season.
A toast to summer, and a welcome to autumn!