"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Monday, August 18, 2014

Now, The Best Time of Year

Summer is waning. We are still wearing t-shirts and tank tops but we're keeping our sweatshirts handy and most mornings I pull on jeans before I run down to start the coffee maker and level off the chicken feeder. The garden is all seedy and disreputable, the support stakes are leaning tiredly and the borders grown over with grasses chickweed. I am starting to make lists of autumn bulbs and think about where to park the chicken coop for winter. Its a season of stripping down and organizing, busily strapping on our routines and making labels for everything.

This weekend we had A's youngest brother visiting us. He has just moved to our coast and is going to be living in Boston for the next couple of years so we celebrated with an inaugural visit together filled with every good thing.We had late night discussions, morning coffee, road-tripping, beach walking, garden tours, a tea party and many a book discussion. Ru was so enamored of his uncle after a weekend of his excellent company that he got up early this morning and lovingly made him a dozen cookies to take with him on the train. Love feeling so rich in family and seeing how feeding belonging and a sense of connection is for my children. They just bloom under it all, like so many little seedlings.

I was still chewing on all the goodness from the weekend and needed a meditative but energetic project. In a fit of caffeinated enthusiasm I spontaneously attacked the pantry after breakfast. I pulled it all apart and scrubbed the shelves, dusted out all the stray onion skins and found all the glass canisters that are empty and need refilling in the bulk department. I put a little drip of wintergreen oil in it and when Ru came in the room looking for me he said, "It smells like root beer in here, or fall spices or something." I was telegraphing autumn through the house, telling everyone including myself that it was time to switch modes. The squirrels in our garden are whittling the sunflower heads down to sawdust and carting away anything salvageable that shows up on the compost pile within minutes and there I am, playing squirrel in my own pantry, dusting off the spaces for extra onions and squashes and potatoes. I can feel the change coming and the mourning for the blazing, high summer with and orchestra of crickets that threatens. I keep forcefully working on now. Right now it is not Autumn, as good as it sounds, with its chimney sweep appointments and hickory nuts and dusky evenings filled with silent, falling leaves. Now is now. We've passed the peak of summer. The days for sun tan oil and perpetual barefeet, we are in a magical time with 80 degree afternoons and chilly mornings with tea cups on the back step. We hear the cicadas singing and most of the garden needs nothing more than a lot of deadheading. The sprinkler still wants a little use and there are nubbins of sidewalk chalk calling to be turned into dusty rainbows on our front walk but the starlings are visiting in flocks sometimes, just to shake it up and bring all of us to the window to watch their random robot walking and their bright yellow bills stabbing the lawn. Now is always ephemeral and more specific and perfect than any seasonal cliche and always the most important thing is to be paying attention, listening with our whole selves.

 “In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility. ” 
― Victoria MoranYounger by the Day


  1. Lovely thoughts! Thanks for making everything so special for Joel! Loved your ending quote, too, and the sad little picture of Giles! XO

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