In search of story



It’s happening. The crickets and cicadas are outsinging the birds. The river birch outside my kitchen window is changing its clothes; it will, as always, cast off the green and try on gold but opt in the end for bark naked.

Marigolds kindle the garden border with a ruddy glow that makes me think I could warm my hands over them. The sun and all the best reds in the crayon box blaze in those little boutonnieres. They are proud of their colors; you can tell.

The herbs elbow one another, crowded now. They wear miters of seeds atop their skinny heads and offer up pungent incense. Nose nirvana.

The dill explodes like fireworks, lime-yellow flares brightly bursting over its green feathers, thick with homey fragrance. A stout Pickwickean bumblebee is busy in it, balancing his girth with easy grace on the airy flower heads. He does not look up at me; he does not have time.


That is the thing measured in the garden. It is time for green to go to gold, time for birds to pass the baton to insects, time for herbs to don seed hats, time for dill to crown the late summer.

Exactly twenty gazillion writers have said all that. And to this overwhelmingly predictable body of farewells to summer, I want to add my hooray. Yes, hooray! My half of the year is coming! It isn’t that I love cold and dark — I don’t — but that I love the long evenings and short days. I love closing the blinds and turning on the lights. Time seems held close then. Thoughts, less rushed, seem clearer. The power to warm is more important than the power to cool. Inward becomes easier than outward. Home is nest. I look forward.