Friday, September 6, 2013

Miller Time Friday: September Comes, Bearing Gifts


Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.

Robert Browning

It was cold when I got up yesterday.

Not freezing cold, mind you.  But cold enough to remind me that Fall is coming.  cold enough for boots and high socks.

I don't mind.

If May and June represent Birth in the garden, July and early August, the Party, September is the Morning After, kind of faded, kind of messy, but the memories of the good times persist everywhere.



The colours are muted now, save the Brown-eyed Susan's.



This is white-turning-to-pink season, green-turning-to-brown, the greys, long hidden behind summer's green skirts shyly showing themselves again. 



 
 
Butch is getting ready to go to sleep..

It is dark by eight p.m. and the sky doesn't begin to lighten until close to six a.m.

We are in the brief period of time before the last blaze of colour, which I often think of as the last supper before the inevitable end, when we bundle ourselves up and steel ourselves for the long winter ahead.  But that still seems far away.

Here and there in the garden is the odd supernova burning itself out:

the Bee Balm that won't quit


the Dahlia reminding you of how beautiful it is so you will remember to dig up their bulbs so they will have another day



the sedum, which has waited and watched so patiently all summer long as the showier flowers did their thing, now suddenly the star of the garden.



The pots in the urns out front are replaced with Mums in autumnal shades. 

You wonder how many more mornings until the Hummingbirds call it a day and decide to head off to Mexico and you wonder if perhaps they wouldn't like company on the journey.

September is old-money, bearing tasteful, muted gifts, the equivalent of your grandmother giving you cashmere mittens or a nice watch.  At the moment, you might  think "Hey, I really wanted that trendy new item", but then over time, you realize that  these gifts are the gifts you turn to time again.




I always "abandon" the garden in August, save the herbs and the veggies.  As the weather cools, I begin the weeding and the cleaning up, begin to top-dress the beds with the compost  I have worked so hard to make all summer.  I do this slowly, enjoying every dragonfly, beetle, spider's web. 



There are always regrets at the end of a gardening season: a plant that never bloomed, a bed that got too overgrown, the feeling that one should have spent the whole summer just sitting there, watching it all.  I always feel very Thorton Wilder "Our Town"-ish in the fall, sentimentalist that I am. 



Mostly, I just feel gratitude.  I think of the billions of people around the world who would feel nothing but bliss to live in this little house with this garden, in good health.  I forget that, caught up as I am in my day-to-day life, fussing about broken-down cars (another post), rejection slips (another post), housework, yard work, soul work yet to do.  The great thing about our troubles is that they are always there if we want to find them.  Tonight, I am going think about honeysuckle blossoms...


....and be grateful...

In honour of the rack and ruin and the gorgeousness that are our lives, I propose a little cocktail in honour of my faithful friend...

Honeysuckle

50ml Golden Rum
25ml Fresh lime juice
1 bar spoon of clear honey

Instructions

Shake the Rum and lime juice with ice, add honey and shake again, Strain into a cocktail glass, Garnish with a wedge of lime.

You just know there will be some honeysuckle on that glass, too...

Have the loveliest of Fridays and stay safe out there!  And remember: smell those flowers and carpe that diem!


 

37 comments:

  1. Oh Wendy, I love your morning-after-the-night-before analogy!
    Your garden is truly lovely, and you are very lucky!
    Sorry to hear about Car Troubles and Rejection Letters :-(

    I know that you are a very strong and positive woman, so I'll raise a glass to a fab weekend for you xx

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    1. Oh thanks Ruth - all is well, but they are all good stories! Tomorrow is our anniversary, so I anticipate a good feeding regardless!

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  2. Beautiful post, Wendy! I'm already missing the hydrangea blooms, but as I watered today (it is still hot here), it was so nice to note how much they and our other plants have grown this summer. Fall is my favorite time of year; it always brings to mind the start of a new school year at college, and so I somehow associate it with new beginnings. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Wendy - I am exactly the same! I always want a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils!

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    2. Yes, new uniform, new books, new pencil case - I still feel that.

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    3. I never wore a uniform - I always wanted to - it was always so Enid Blyton romantic to me!

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    4. I loved my uniform, I only needed to think about clothes at the weekend, I think that's why I can't fuss over clothes every day.

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    5. What heartache uniforms would have prevented!

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  3. So true about the September analogy...PS that dahlia looks like it was photoshopped!

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    1. I know! I told the Dahlia that when I took the picture. I said "You are just looking too hot, no one is going to believe it is you" and it said "shut up wendy, and take the damn picture"

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  4. There was a paragraph in there that was an outstandingly beautiful but of writing, so poetic.

    I am so excited about autumn, it's already boots and socks weather here, bye bye ballet pumps till next May. This is my season, beautiful weather and colours a toasty home and hearth, candlelight and carpets of gold outside, I LOVE it!

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    1. Oh I wore boots and socks yesterday, but I am pretty sure that was an anomaly! Autumn is amazing! I woke up at 4:30 this morning (hot flash!) and then I saw the sky, a million stars and Orion right in front of me and I kept staring and couldn't get back to sleep because of the beauty. But now I need an espresso....

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    2. the stars and the espresso were!

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    3. This is my favorite,too. I made hot soup last night for the first time in months, baked some cornbread and had an old friend to dinner. The stars were fab last night, so clear and cool. Dragonflies have replaced the swallows at 5PM, diving for mosquitoes over the gardens.

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  5. How lovely. It just doesn't feel like we had a real summer here. Usually by August it has been so hot and little rain everything is kind of brown. When fall comes the plants perk up, the changing of the leaves are glorious. We have had so much rain and mild temps, I have never seen it so green. We still could mow every five days! Have a wonderful weekend. Much love.

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    1. That sounds a lot like here - so wet and the bugs never left because of it. That is part of the reason I held off on the weeding - I was getting eaten alive! Have a fabulous weekend? skinny-dipping?

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    2. Football silly. And yard work and dinner with my folks. They are setting off on their next big adventure, gone for 45 days. I get my wanderlust honestly.

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  6. This was a beautiful post and such a lovely start to the day. I'm just up and back to the land of the living after being taken down by food poisoning on Wednesday evening... which lasted well into yesterday. My gosh that has never happened to me before it was terrible. I have new appreciation for health and the simple bliss of things like being able to be outside, or anywhere, without vomiting!
    It is cooler here and like Tabs I LOVE it. I can't wait to stomp around in the leaves with my boots on. Have a gorgeous day DollFace!!

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    1. Food poisoning! I only had that once and it was horrific! What did you eat? I am so glad you are feeling better!

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    2. Wendy it was hideous. Salmon! Which I am never ever eating again by the way. I may just live on saltines into eternity as a matter of fact.

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    3. I couldn't eat Caesar salad for years after mine...

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  7. There is a definite chill in the air. I knew this would happen, but was somehow still unprepared. Thank you for the beautiful post on a beautiful day.

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    1. You are so welcome MW - I think fall is here!

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  8. LOvely pictures and prose. But, WMM, fall doesn't start until the 21st, and stubborn last rose of summer that I am, I refuse to think of this as autumn! Your gardening really paid off this year, and your pictures are gorgeous. Dry those last hydrangeas. They are pretty year round!

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    1. Oh good for you! it is freezing here again today! Thanks for the reminder on the hydrangeas!

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  9. I am Not ready for fall at all! Why does summer always fly?

    I am sorry to hear about rejection letters. I know that you will get the good news that you deserve!

    Happy Anniversary! Have a lovely weekend!

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  10. You have a beautiful garden Wendy, I didn't knew you liked gardening. YOu should read the Gardener's Bed Book. I am sure you would love it.
    Do you do a lot of veggies?
    I wish you a fantastic weekend.
    Steph

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    1. I have borrowed it from the library, but don't own it, so thanks for the suggestion! I do love my garden! I was just telling Lane my veggies did terribly this summer because of the rain. There is always another year I guess! Have an awesome weekend!

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  11. Hi Wendy, quite a melancholy post in some ways. You obviously get much joy out of your garden, no wonder you're a bit sad to see the season end.

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    1. HI Patricia - it is melancholy, isn't it? Oh well, now that it is out of my system, I can embrace September!

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  12. Sorry about the rejection letters and broken-down cars.
    Lovely garden, WMM!

    Keep persevering and don't get discouraged about rejection letters. My writer friend received many of those until her first publication in Grain magazine many years ago. From then on, it got easier.

    As far as cars go, I can only say ^%$@!^$@!%^*&^%!! about my hybrid that broke down last month. A horrendous repair bill later, I have wheels again.

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    1. Oh rejection is a part of the process, for sure! Glad your car is back on the road!

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  13. I always felt September was the most energizing, and at the same time, the most melancholy of the months. You've captured it.

    Be of good cheer, October approaches and we'll all have a better sense of where we are.

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    1. I think I should be in NYC! Just heard Daniel Craig is heading to Broadway!

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Kindness is a virtue...