Seasonal Straddling

Mid-September

It’s a bittersweet transition putting on my fleecy clothes in the mornings. There’s relief in the early cool breeze coming through the windows but I already miss the summer heat. It’s a greedy feeling, holding onto summer, wanting heat, enjoying the cool, wanting fall colors. If only, if only.

The garden begins it’s slow but noticeable demise, offering a last frenzy of strawberry blossoms and bean tendrils. The newest basils double in size every time I look, hinting at the frenzy of pesto manufacturing to come. Alan starts his third soup production this week, so many carrots and beans to process, but the zucchinis are tired, silvered with mildew, ready to be pulled. The one pumpkin is already bright orange, and a new blossom on the long winding stalk foolishly grasps at a last chance at life (“the optimism of nature,” says Alan).

The gentle breeze pulls down the first brown leaves from the magnolias out back, hinting at the mess to come, though this year I may wait until they’ve all fallen to go about cleaning it all up. I’m no Oregon rookie anymore.

The sun rises a little later, and I welcome the extra half hour of sleep in the mornings as my internal clock slowly adjusts, always waking at first light, no matter when I fall asleep. Yesterday I saw Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens for the first time in several weeks, the smoky haze now drifting eastward, along with the fires, still only partly contained. Our first smattering of rain finally broke a record several month dry spell, and revealed a sparkling city ready for more, and promised next week.

Fall brings school and the latest in runny nose strains. Rosa started kindergarten and loves school, where recess is already her favorite. Her full days there means less time with us, and I miss the generous long hours we’ve had until now. Ezra loves preschool and coming to our house, but when he arrived without his sister he commented, “Rosa is somewhere where I can’t find her.” While he often refers to all of his family members as his “best friend,” most often it’s his best friend Rosa that comes up in conversation. When I sing or play music he suddenly stills, hands poised in the air, eyes wide, listening with his whole being.

green beans about to give up

Green beans about to give up

We head to Bend for a last bit of summer hiking and kayaking before the snow changes which clothes and equipment we bring. The coming winter has us wondering whether there will be enough snow to force us to invest in an all wheel drive car for the winter, or if the past winter will stand alone as unusually cold and snowy. Wondering if all the drain work done inside and out will hold off the raging waters that pour down the hills around us, funneling into our yard and basement, or if last year’s rains were really hundred year storms, like everyone says.

The precipice between seasons, as the earth slowly tilts us away from the sun, is more marked here up north in our new (yes still new) home. Every day, every month is different, and I try to breathe in the present to stay grounded, even as politics, world madness, plans, dreams and events catapult me forward.

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