Summer’s End

Another delightful late summer morning, one that feels much more like fall than summer. It’s fair time and school begins this week for most students; often, although not this year, this means days of sweltering heat that make school and fair challenging.

A couple of days ago I awoke to silence. Crickets still fiddle in the evening and goldfinches chirp as they take seeds from our patches of small sunflowers. Otherwise the din of summer has passed, leaving a strange quiet.

The farmers’ markets are vibrant with color and filled with a truly delicious assortment of vegetables and fruits. We are in the midst of those few brief weeks when locally grown fruit, other than apples, abounds; this is a precious time here in northern Vermont, a welcome respite from the more bland supermarket fruits and vegetables. For breakfast we had fruit salad composed almost entirely of farmers’ market finds. Somehow we were able to save some for later.

Speaking of farmers’ market, yesterday marked the transition to autumn crops. While the corn, many kinds of summer squash, beans, and tomatoes are all at their peak, Delicata, the first of the winter squashes, was suddenly available for purchase. We have an affinity for this sweet, softer skinned transitional squash that signals the final days of summer, yet greet it with decidedly mixed feelings.

Locally, we have settled into a September weather pattern of comfortable days, cool nights, and extended periods of sun. The past couple of nights were cool enough to set us to thinking we need to close the windows at night and add a blanket to the bed.

Even as we enjoy our cool, dry weather (it is dry enough we had to water the garden!), our eyes and hearts turn to southeast Texas, and the  latest “unprecedented” weather related events. Hurricane Harvey continues to inundate much of southeast Texas in floods of proverbially Biblical proportions. We are reminded of those southern preachers who, after Sandy, spoke about the storm as an act of vengeance against immoral north easterners, a punishment delivered by an angry god. I guess it’s easier to speculate on the motivations of a wrathful god than to address the problem of climate change, simpler to deny the impacts of our collective behaviors than to face painful truths.

Anyway, I don’t imagine the Creator is out to punish folks with the floods, anymore than S/he was doing so with drought. I wish that instead of casting blame and damnation, we would get on with the task of aiding all who are in need and securing a viable future for the world community, a complexly interwoven system of which we are very much a part.


11 thoughts on “Summer’s End

  1. To recognize and see the truth demands, that we also wish to react, Michael.
    Many are not ready or willing to go that far yet.
    It sounds like, you have same kind of fruit and vegetables growing in your area, as they have in North Europe.

    1. Irene, I imagine that many people blame others because to acknowledge that we are each and all vulnerable is too terrifying.
      Yes, we have mostly European vegetables, or rather, we share vegetables with Europe, as they have traveled back and forth many ties and their origins are now mostly forgotten.

    1. Thank you, Andrea. I just spent time with friends who believe that our lives are entirely created by us. Their privilege comes from their hard work, and everyone else is essentially lazy. Just makes me nuts.

  2. No, there is nothing like punishment. Here we believe what is to happen will happen and also what is written for us will happen. In a way this belief helps us to face what comes our way. I liked your post. Regards

    1. Mukhamani, I have had some lovely conversations about fate and karma while in India. Mostly I am told that Westerners just do not understand, a truth that seems self evident. Many shamanic cultures also believe in fate, and are much more generous with their support of people who suffer.

  3. The end of summer is a tricky time I always think but in the UK it is worst when the clocks go back. Then you know you are set for winter, and the dark grind of shorter days.

    1. Mary, we delay pushing our clocks back until November. Of course, we are a bit south of the UK. Still, the days are much shorter now, the evenings coming too soon after work to allow for a leisurely picnic. Still, we try to sneak them in when we are able.

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