This time of year always feels as though the whole world is holding its breath. The nights are growing colder, I turn the porch light on in the evenings, and beside my doorstep anemones bid welcome to autumn as everything else dies back.
I am never ready for fall. Having grown up where summers are hot and long and dry, I always crave just a few more warm days. This year, I am especially unprepared for fall. Brandywine tomatoes sit on my counter, waiting for jars. My tomatillo plants are still heavy with fruit, my corn is starting to die back, ears still on the stalk. There are potatoes to harvest, and applesauce to be made. We have no wood for the winter, and the heater is still broken. I would give anything for one more month of sun right now.
I have been dreaming again. Dreaming of a new chapter for my family. Dreaming of projects bigger and scarier and more wonderful than anything I’ve ever done. I have lost 16 pounds in the last two weeks — the first bit of weight I’ve lost since Audrey’s birth. I have been working on essays. I have been thinking about what we value as a culture. About what I value. About what I need. And what, exactly, defines bounty in one’s life. I am especially engrossed by that last question.
Autumn begins this year on the nine month anniversary of my little girl’s birth. I plan to spend the evening on the back deck with a glass of wine, in front of what may be the second and last outdoor fire of the year. (Really, I just need one more month of warm days. One more crop of tomatoes. A dozen more fires in the fire pit. A camping trip…) I also will probably say a little prayer, and remind myself that the universe will give us exactly what we need in this life — whatever that may be. I will probably burn a little sage. I will hold my breath as I pull everything in closer to me, and ready myself for winter.