Writing Afresh as Summer Wanes


The pace of days is different now. Late summer glides into autumn as easily as I slide my summer-tanned feet back into warm wool slippers. My eyelids close and I feel chilled air on my skin.

I’m fruit, crisp, ripe on the vine.

Iris domestic (red form) at Rancho Cistus. I just potted up a few flats of seedlings from this plant in the garden.

Waiting much longer for harvest seems an impossibility. My birthday comes soon, and I will be older.

I may begin to rot if I wait much longer. Let’s pick all the fruits of our labors, retreat with them down below ground, into the dark, into ourselves, exploring spirits, dreams, stories—and the silence of the cold.

Soon enough there will be laughter and warmth around tables. Fire will burst forth in homes, and we’ll curl up like grubs, in our own underground. It’s inevitable, and I’m not one to resist the call of the wild, the rewards of each season, the cycle of friendship, family, and life.

Stachys albomentosa ‘Hidalgo’ at Secret Garden Growers. We’re working on making a few more.

The sun rises at 6:30am and sets before 8pm. I feel the clipped days right now. My eyes strain to see as I drive again in the dark. Sweater shopping is underway. There is a sense of urgency. The air smells different each day.

Figs from a clone of the tree members of my Sicilian family brought to the United States over 100 years ago. I know the current owner of one our family homes in SE Portland and was able to take cuttings of it a few years ago.

We’re entering the days of umbra and penumbra. Shadows lengthen and I feel a craving for books and words.

As a girl I read constantly, daily, unceasingly. Nowadays, I’m often too busy, but my life is changing, and I am too.

My priorities are shifting back as I continue to receive treatment for my blood condition. My mind is unwinding and I feel the water rocking me gently as I write again. There is a stillness and a calm as I meditate with ease.

My heart is beating slower, stronger.

Nerine filifolia at work out in Canby. Time to divide the stock plants.

I take deep and looooooooong breaths. Breathe. And for me, I mean it.

While still sensitive to smoke and wildfires, my chest is yet open, and my mind is a treasure chest of memories and feelings.

As I move in the greenhouses and garden, I remember things, movements reveal strings to memories. I’m feeling feelings left unfelt.

Seemania (aka Gloxinia) ‘Little Red’ out in Canby this week. I love this John Boggan hybrid.

I experience them all—then cut the cord, and let the memories drift away.

Like saying goodbye to an old friend, sometimes I hold them close for too long, kissing them hard, and I straighten out to see myself holding a plant I once loved, but it’s faded and gone.

The fading bloom from a Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Esther Reed’ at Secret Garden Growers. We will have more available soon.

In spring, we emerge, reborn, and fresh again.

Our feet will emerge again, soft and pink.