Is it really Fall?

The wind got hold of my top-heavy dahlias this week so I cut those that were blown over.  I’ve got several vases FULL of  enormous blooms.  Two of them sit on my kitchen table next to a pumpkin, and every time I look at it I can’t help but marvel at the sight.  There are more flowers outside where these came from, yet Halloween is just around the corner.   I think that and shake my head.  Is it really fall?  When did that happen, and who forgot to tell my yard?

The children and I spent a glorious day outside together.  We finally harvested our sunflower seeds and were amazed at how many we have.  Tomorrow we’ll soak them.  We also pulled out most of the garden plants, leaving only those things that are still thriving.   There are still tomatoes, herbs, eggplant, and bell peppers but most of it is gone.  The children enjoyed digging up the carrots while my little one picked a bunch of green tomatoes for us (because two year olds are helpful like that).  The funniest moment was when she picked one of her sister’s bell peppers and the chase was on.  Picture two little girls, ages two and three and almost the same size, chasing each other around the back yard screaming “No, that’s my pepper!”   The three year old recovered her vegetable, then walked back to the plant and picked another pepper.  “Here,” she said calmly as she offered one to her little sister, “A pepper for both of us.”  We all laughed.   No need now for that pepper plant we left in the garden.

I also pruned my lavender plants back for the year.  Tonight my daughter and I sat and bundled another basket full of lavender to dry.  I looked around my kitchen at homegrown vegetables piled all over the counter, buckets full of sunflower seeds and the enchanting smell of lavender on my hands and was overwhelmed with gratitude for the chance to grow things.

Sometimes fall seems like a time of cutting back, simplifying.  This year fall feels like a crescendo that’s still building.  It’s almost more than I can appreciate.  We’re enjoying the beauties of summer alongside the slow turning of leaves.  We’re picking pumpkins and flowers together, raking leaves and weeding flowerbeds in bare feet… with sunscreen on.

And I love it.

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