A Tribute to the Summer That Was


Air so crisp you can taste it, a big orange harvest moon, looking for all the world like a giant pumpkin rising in the eastern sky, the setting sun lighting the neighbours’ maple bush in soft glowing shades of gold and rose, birds singing the day to bed, summer has left the building. There’s talk of snow in a few days, so I thought I’d celebrate the summer that was. Our first no-till garden produced like there was no tomorrow. We feasted on freshly picked vegetables from early June until late October. Now we have enough stored and frozen to take us through the winter. The garden provided far more than food, though. It gave us beauty, peace, joy and hope, pretty good work for one little patch of dirt.

While I’ve been watching, the moon has turned itself into a silver dollar sitting atop the neighbours’ barn. As for the woods beyond, beauty that defies description. A couple of weeks ago I wrote that this had been an unremarkable year for fall colours; but as the sun disappears in the west, the eastern wood becomes a spectacle of understated colour. As with the eatsern forest, the low clouds in the west are laced with gold and rose, leaving the apple trees as silouhettes against the sky. This wasn’t a good year for apples. They came much fewer and poorer than last year. Oh well, “Next year,” says the turning of the season.

The cranes and sparrows have stopped their songs for the night. Everything is still. The moon, now ivory, reigns in an almost cloudless sky. Even the dogs and horses have become still. Behind me, to the west, the setting sun has left the horizon in silouhette framed in gold, to the east, an ever softening beauty. I guess when trees only get to sleep through one season, they have a right to celebrate their rest. Last fall we worried that with such a dry summer past, our fields would be damaged from fall grazing. What a difference a year makes. This fall the fields are thick and lush, if a bit soft. Because of the plethora of flying insects, some of our barn swallows hatched two nests of babies, all of which grew to fly south. Even mosquitoes have their place in things.

It’s grown quite dark while I’ve been standing here trying to capture every nuance of the moment like a greddy child gorging on a favourite dessert. The dogs have become restless, urging me to take them inside. Well, they have been patient, but I do hate to leave. I think that when we go inside, I will take out the saxaphone to join nature’s chorus in playing the summer sun to bed. Then I will be free to anticipate the coming snow. Do you remember what a great winter we had last year? See you next time.



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