Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Waning Season

I don't think it's been a hot Summer. It has been humid and there were a few days when it felt better with a fan, than without. I kept waiting for the kind of heat that would make our backyard dipping pool enjoyable. But the cold water from the hose never felt necessary... rather it felt rash and overstated. We had a few water fights and those were fun, and I am sure if we had a pool we would be swimming, but unlike other Summers, we weren't wishing we had a real pool.

It could still get hot. Summer in these parts can last through October. The only cold Halloween I can recall was in 2002, in Wisconsin. It was strange and invigorating to be traveling door to door, cold and excited, sharing the amusements of the night. September can be a very hot month. In fact I seldom count June as a summer month, thinking of Summer more as July through September. I remember November 1990, swimming at The Cove with my brother, Bill. The weather was fine for an ocean swim. I was pregnant with William and it felt wonderful to ride the waves and get out passed the breakers.

It could still get hot, but I predict an early Fall. Trees in the neighborhood, the Sweet Gum, and other deciduous maple types, are already showing amber clusters, yellow swathes, and shades of Merlot. The spiders are out and busy weaving. We remember our first days here, at Garage Mahal, it was October and the yard was full of enormous garden spiders, all hanging and waiting to ensnare us in their sprawling webs. The grand-daughters of those beady eyed arachnids are already crisscrossing the garden, and setting traps across the sidewalks, getting plump and crafty. Makes me shiver. One caught me and rode in to the house in my hair... I squawked and I think she fainted... we were equally aghast!

Holly says her cat brought in a very tiny mouse, and I remember Grandma Nancy saying that mice come near the house and try to get in when they sense a change in the weather. Fall must be looming. Not just on the calendar, but in our gardens, in the pulse of the Earth. My tomato plant should not have to give any more. It is beaten and depleted, and so are the roses. All those plants that gave all they could are worn out and ready to slip back in to the earth, to return in another season.

Last night I dreamt that we had an amazing, warm, crusty loaf of baked bread. We were breaking the bread and sharing it, and it never ran out. I can smell it. I could feel the weight of it, the crust breaking and complying in our hands, and the warmth of it could not more perfectly evoke home and hearth, that quality of Autumn that calls us to gather closer and share. Wasn't that the pleasantest dream? I like thinking on it.

Maria and I went outside in search of colors and pretty things. We found, of course the chicas, and when we let them out of their sky blue coop they flew. They are nearly impossible to photograph. Some part, or all parts, of them is always moving. Their feet anticipate the next step, their eyes dart, then fix. Most pictures I take of them are a blurry haze of colored feathers. Even though they stay within the same general vicinity of each other, I don't know wether I will ever capture a family portrait... the 3 of them, poised and graceful, sitting alertly together and subtly smiling for the camera.

I am anticipating my favorite time of the year, Autumn, and hoping that plans fall in to place, that we slip in to comforting rhythms and enjoy happy traditions. I am looking forward to gaining an edge and feeling a sense of accomplishment through work and routine. I cannot see my dreams coming true, not yet, so my new resolve is to maintain the good things I do have. Did you see Chris' comment? She shared a quote from Burton Hills: "Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life." I do have destinations in mind, but I must remember to enjoy the ride, I know.

I think I will dress Maria... I should say: let Maria get dressed, because she loves to find something to wear and do it herself. We can find a nursery and walk the paths, admire the blooms and choices, then bring home new annuals for Lola's Garden, our little barrel of flowers. The season is waning, and we want to welcome the new season with our best intentions and a bit of faith, as much as we can muster.


judy in ky said...

What a wonderful dream... I think it signifies good things to come.
I wish fall would hurry up and come here. It's very hot and dry and we need rain. There have been many days this summer that I have wished to have a pool!

nikkipolani said...

I think my summer's been hotter than yours, but not by much (judging by the electricity bill). That dream sounds wonderful and I love your determined outlook on the season.

natalie said...

Hi! I too am happy the days of blankets, snowboarding and colder temps are amongst us. It was actually quite easy regarding the zuchini receipe. One egg mixed in with flour, add seasonings and then fry in a pan of oil. Not the best but it was delicious nevertheless. Enjoy your day Natalie. hehe. From Natalie. hehe

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

We had a much hotter Labor day weekend than you guys. We spent it at the Infineon race track in Sonoma. On Friday it was 105 to 110 degrees!!! We were roasting out there and the race drivers had it worse in their hot racing suits. I had to soak Steve's balaclava and then pour water down the inside front of his suit after I strapped him in the car. Luckily it cooled down a bit the next few days but I doubt that it really got below 95. It's much cooler here in Sunnyvale I'm pleased to say. :-)

Rebecca said...

We have chickens too. Three hens and a cockerel. Plus 8 chicks, gender unknown.

Anyway, I was just browsing and thought I'd stop to say hullo.

Jennifer said...

I love all your photos, but I especially love the third one in this post -- the dancing flower princess upside-down pink flower.... said...

I agree, the summer never did get that hot. I think it's so cute that you have a "weather" category. I should too. The warm and sunny Sept. weather that we are having here is making up for the summer! Beautiful flower pictures. Love those jacob lilies.

Em said...

Natalie - I LOVE your blog... I know you already knew that - but I thought I would tell you again! I've missed reading about your life these past weeks - I've been SO busy... but it seems that I'm getting things under control now. It looks like I'll be able to get some chicas of my own very soon - and I've already picked some out to order - I CAN'T WAIT!!! I've just had to keep telling myself 'Don't order them until they vote' - over and over! It's so hard to wait! I love your pictures of the chicas, and Maria - she's so beautiful! Sorry I haven't been 'around'! I look forward to fall too... I'm planning a new 'food not lawns' garden project this fall... I hope the hubby doesn't mind... ha ha!