summer’s au revoir.
summer’s au revoir.
an evening star
The zinnia is a patient flower,
enduring insults by the hour.
The finches yank her petals fair,
and spit the petals anywhere
after they’ve guzzled the seeds.
Then a bee has a thought
of a little zinnia merlot
but he overdoes
can’t even buzz
bemoans his intemperate deeds.
“Move over!” “YOU move over!” “I was here first!”
Ah, September in the herb garden. The madding crowd.
Yesterday I ran away to the library. I had to write. More specifically, I had to tweak something I’d written a while ago. Just tweaks — nothing to it, yes? My writer’s brain was this herb corner: crowded and madding. The words pushed and shoved. I wrote and wrote. And crossed out and crossed out.
After an hour, I had twenty-eight words that possibly maybe perhaps were the right ones. Why, with such thick growth, is there such a meager, tentative harvest?
Those of you who have memorized my blog know that we are going into my preferred half of the year. I love pulling in and closing off. I am by nature a plodder and these coming months of inner dwelling are therapeutic; plodders like me need the down time to recover from the frenetics of summer. So I savor the time on this bridge to winter.
Except for the melancholy in the garden. Cutting back, digging up, harvesting. Divesting my world of color. Snapping the brittle that once was soft-greened. Thumbing through shriveled petals for seeds like little black tears. Rattling the maraca pods. Fluffing the dried leaves, pillow-like. Tucking in for the long winter’s nap. The gardener’s autumn has its grey reveries.
But it also has its lively side. And that would be in the kitchen.
All miscellaneous pitchers, glasses, and vases are called to duty, giving the cut-backs a last moment of glory, a blazing curtain call amid lumps of towels and other kitchen flotsam. A transient rose window fashioned by a mystic guild, it transforms this everyday workspace with its vibrant farewell.
The drying center cannot boast of such color except in promise. Brown, grey, and black belie the palette within. Rudbeckia, nasturtium, and zinnia seeds rest in old china, a tea box, and two mid-century Girl Scout projects. Begonia tubers rest in lunch bags. Herbs and granddaughter’s potholders in artistic suspension over all. Baking supplies fight for space, reminders of breads and cookies interrupted.
I bundle lavender and thyme, floating on their breath, in the midst of this eloquent mess, the seeds speaking of what will be, the cut flowers of what has been. With all gardeners, I marvel.