Friday, August 22, 2014

Ending a Season


The hummingbirds are still coming to the feeder but my mornings no longer begin with bird song. The early hours now belong to the raucous crow and the belligerent jay. And the rooster, of course.

The butternut squash plants have taken over the garden. I counted 11 squash nestled among the wandering leaves. The two potato plants I dug up yielded over 25 good-sized potatoes. There are at least 30 plants in the potato bed. I've frozen half a dozen quarts of green beans and eaten almost as many. The spinach did not thrive, nor the beets, but the swiss chard has been delicious. Two of my tomatoes grew to the size of a soup bowl!

Afternoons are bathed in shimmering golden light. Leaves and grass are still green but their vibrancy is dimming; pastel flower blossoms have given way to vivid yellows and purples. Farmer's market counters overflow with corn, with carrots, and baskets of beets and beans. Soon there will be pumpkins for sale and pots of mums.


The sun rises almost half an hour later and sets half an hour earlier than it did a month ago. Crickets chirp late into the evening and summer bugs buzz in the dark. Songbirds are beginning to bunch; noisy flocks of starlings swirl and settle in the treetops, little yellow finches flutter haphazardly from thistle to thistle, swallows swoop and dive in groups over the pond. In a couple of months the geese will again gather on the water, talking amongst themselves of the coming winter and the impending trip to their southern homes.

A number of classmates from my high school graduating class will gather in early September for a reunion picnic. I haven't seen some of them in 50 years. Out of a class of 68, 11 have passed away. Only about half of those remaining will attend. We're scattered across the US, travel and lodging are expensive, some are suffering ill health. I can clearly remember standing outside the school on graduation night, hugging these friends and vowing to keep in touch. So much has changed in 50 years. We've changed, too. I wonder if any of them will seem like strangers or will time melt and warp, allowing us to see each other as we were, to recognize the 18 year old hiding in a 68 year old body?

I have projects unfinished, books unread, plans unfulfilled but life is good, nonetheless. Summer, with its heat and storms, its ups and downs, will segue into autumn as it always does. I think of the saying, "Don't mourn what is not, be grateful for what is," and I am content.


11 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

A nice harvest it looks. I didn't get beets this year either. I see some change going on here with leaves turning.

Brian Miller said...

you know, i have never been to one of my reunions...it feels nice...the turning of the season...particularly because we are heading into my fav season...

Judith said...

Such a lovely melding of endings (which are also beginnings), the geese, the vegetables, all the birds, the birds of passage of your schoolmates, the season ---
Lovely.

Tabor said...

Yes, I just wrote briefly about my reunion in a prior post. It was pretty dynamic in spite of the small number of folks. That last photo really calls to me for some reason.

Kerry said...

The season is definitely changing, isn't it? Always a bittersweet feeling this time of year.

The one time I went to a high school reunion I was shocked how everyone had changed, and that was quite awhile ago. They looked so different, and they all played golf.

Friko said...

I truly enjoy these contemplative posts of yours. They remind me to stop wishing myself away from my life and stepping back and looking, hearing and feeling.

Pauline said...

OOTP - the is year's harvest is slim compared to years past when I canned and jellied, and froze fruits and vegetables for the entire month of August. Still, I've enough to eat and some to put by so things are good.

Brian - no doubt I'll let you all know how it falls out at the reunion.

Thanks, J. It seems I use a lot of words to say little. I like being the observer - it calms me :)

Tabor - I like that photo of the swan, too. It was such a serene evening...

Kerry - your comment made me chuckle. It will be interesting to see what people I once saw every day 50 years ago look like now.

Friko - that's a wonderful compliment. I love just looking at what surrounds me. Sometime I make connections to the way I live my life, sometimes I just ramble. I like that you like to come here to read :)

Molly said...

Here, here to your last line. Your descriptions of nature are, as usual, beautiful. Hope all the inner 18 yr. olds have a great reunion!

Star said...

Have a lovely time at the reunion Pauline. Harvest is here in England too and the tres are already turning crrisp and golden.

Hilary said...

Contentment is good! It's sad to think of the declining numbers of past classmates but the best we can do is enjoy the life we have. And it seems to me that you do that better than most.

Barbara Shallue said...

I'm going to carry that last quote away with me. Great timing for me. I've stayed in touch with my high school friends and it does seem like time warps when we're together. I hope it does the same for you and yours!