Time to start hunkering down… the evenings are chilly, the light has changed. The saturated patches of sun that spill across the room in late afternoon drench everything they touch with a golden light so unique to this season.
Over the last several weeks I’ve stowed away the fugitives of my summer garden and brought indoors some of what the fall landscape offers. The remaining hydrangea blossoms are at their jewel tone peak. Rosemary sprigs and ripening quince are as fragrant as a candle shop. Seeds are collected in the potting shed, little bits of summer tucked throughout the house in every sill and nook that can house an overwintering guest. A few impatients, a tiny marigold, the promising geranium that hangs from the basement rafter, the cuttings of my grandfather’s fig tree – they will accompany me through short days and long nights. My prolific jasmine, the passion flowers and fuchsias are acclimating, and so am I. I will watch them carefully and already I’m rewarded with a few more buds and tiny flowers, all more precious now that summer’s riotous display has come to an end.
Outside, vines and herbs are dug in to be protected by the earth’s insulation, the fig bundled up for another winter. A few more seeds to collect, a lot more leaves to rake. All will be done. Together my survivors and I will battle back the dark winter and as the frost begins to etch the windows, a small flower is certain to unfurl.