As much as I love the spring and the young garden, and the summer and its explosion of edibles and flowers and colors, and the fall and heat and tomatoes finally,
oh dear, oh dear, how I love the turning to winter and putting the garden, after months of busy productivity, to a well-deserved sleep.
A point comes every summer -- no matter how many times, every year, I promise myself that I'll work hard to ensure that it doesn't -- when the garden, well-planted, well-composted, well-watered, outdoes me completely, pumps out more than I can keep up with, becomes a riotous happy tangle of vegetation, doing everything I hoped for.
And always so much more!
Every year, I get a little tired. I begin to feel, yes, it's true, a little oppressed by the bounty, daunted by the task of eating, preserving, giving it. By October, by November, oh how sweet it is to take it all down.
To return the tomato vines to the compost, to clear the leggy borage from the boxes, to see, after months of green, bare dark earth in garden beds 1 through 4.
And so yesterday, as part of our return into this time after vacationing far away, as a way of re-integrating ourselves into this home, we spent 4 blissful hours outside, pulling, digging, clearing. I'd say we spent four hours working but it doesn't seem like work.
It's like singing, somehow, or dreaming, flowing from task to task, outside of time, outside of lists.
And it's so satisfying, yesterday, today, to walk around and see how orderly it has become, quiet, the compost bins piled high with raked-up leaves and clipped-up plants, steaming in the cold morning air. Under all that quiet, all that energy is returning to some other elemental form, not dormant at all but transforming, storing power, getting ready.
Oh, the fallow time. Under the quiet, so much potency. And already, I'm sketching out in my mind next spring's garden, tasting next summer's bounty. Me too, going a little quiet, storing energy for the big burst to come.