attempting to articulate

I love my morning walk up the hill to the Kitchen, the moments which belong to only me. We've replaced sweating in the Kitchen's heat with sweaters in the morning. The summer is ending. All the signs are there and obvious, if you're watching for them as eagerly as I am.

First the trees, the weaker ones are already dropping off their leaves, or losing some to all of the rain. A blush of color has appeared in the mountains, so slight that I wondered that it hadn't been there all summer. Next the garden with this seasons' delayed tomatoes now fat and ripe and pungent and delicious in everything. A fridge stocked with purple peppers, cucumbers, the last of the deliciously sweet carrots, summer squash and zucchini, basil, broccoli boxes taking over everything, cauliflower, kale, chard, scallions, shallots, eggplants upon eggplants upon eggplants until I can't think of eating more eggplant parmesan! Falls' squashes are fattening themselves daily; delicata's paint their stripes while spaghetti's pull their guts taught like guitar strings; pumpkins laze about, listening to the "caws" of the crows and watching as the cows feast in the field that used to be shoulder high barley. My sunflowers look less sunny and more seasonally abused, petals sagging, rain-soddened; the cosmos stand erect, more dignified because of the sunflowers' disarray.

That wonderful back-to-school smell of beginnings and possibilities is back; the smell of the late summer apple trees' heavying fruit which is doled out, dented apples rolling away from their trees. Squirrels clutch the smallest apples and run across streets with the bounty that will be their winter store. Porcupines take the night shift. I will go, bucket in hand, this weekend and collect the bruised groundlings for a first batch of applesauce. I too must set aside my winter store.

Poor summer, it doesn't know it's dying.
A few days are all it has. Still, the lake
is with me, its strokes of blue-violet
and the fiery sun replacing loneliness.
I feel like an animal that has found a place.
This is my burrow, my nest, my attempt
to say, I exist. A rose can't shut itself
and be a bud again. It's a malady,
wanting it. On the shore, the moon sprinkles
light over everything, like a campfire,
and in the green-black night, the tall pines
hold their arms out as God held His arms
out to say that He was lonely and that
He was making Himself a man.

--Henri Cole


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