Saturday, September 21, 2002

Welcome Fall 2002

We made a genuine salute to Fall, and a farewell to Summer. The boys and I found carrot, spinach, pea and lettuce sprouts in the barrels we planted. We watered the baby veggies carefully, checked on the chickens, fed the two rabbits, and then we sat in the dirt and stared beyond the apple tree, down in to the pasture.

Alex asked whether I could imagine it full of fruit trees, "Because, I sure can," he said contentedly. I am sure he can too. Just the other day he harvested the fruit from his two strawberry guava shrubs. He brought in two large bowls full of ripe fruit. He and Max ate about 1/3 of them, then we threw the rest in the juicer with apples and pears. The juice was very good.

And tonight, as we envisioned more trees, we sampled apples from the tree we planted on the pasture fence. They were small, but ripe. They were hard, crisp and sweet-tart. And then we remembered that today is the last day of Summer. We toasted the passing season with our harvest, and saluted Fall with big crunchy bites of our apples.

Fall won't make many striking poses in our part of the world. We occasionally find a street lined with sweet gum trees, changing colors and losing leaves. The days don't seem quite as long, but, for now, they are as hot as ever. We delight in the pumpkins at the supermarket, the prospect of apple picking in our local mountains. And of course there is the torturous bliss of planning and anticipating holidays and merriment. How many days 'til Halloween, and how many days 'til Thanksgiving and how many days 'til Christmas? I look forward to the first night cold enough for foggy breath and a fire in the fireplace. I look forward to baking something a little sweet and nostalgic, sweaters and mittens, and an autumn wreath by the front door. We will walk in the early morning fog, the black, black crows sitting on the white pasture fence, and we'll love that it is Fall.

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