The wind is blowing, the trees rustle, there are bright
leaves on the sugar maple in the backyard, orange winterberries bead the
bushes. The sky is bright blue and at sunset the tender purple and pink of
summer have given way to orange, black clouds will soon bar the western sky.
I love the fall. I love the bright
days and the grey days, the way the shapes of the trees reveal
themselves, the many shades of brown and gold and grey that clothe the fields
and woods. This summer at an antique fair I discovered a Stangl pattern
new to me, with these very colors. Amber-Glo, it’s called, a
carefully organized pattern of leaves and seeds.
The farmer and I have
just returned from Sicily,
a powerful visit to a strange and magical island - Persephone’s island, full
of fairy-tale towns precariously climbing up little brown mountains, plants
blooming in every crevice, wonderful flowerpots in the shape of the heads of
kings and princesses, balconies, stone walls, narrow streets, crazy drivers in
toy cars, Greek temples the color of honey, and kind welcoming people. We
saw the tiny town where his mother and father were born, were embraced by
cousins, fed homemade wine and olives and cakes and coffee, tore ourselves away,
promising to return. The change from soft evenings spent sitting on the
terrace, sipping expresso and watching the glow of lava on Mt. Etna to the
farm at the end of the season was abrupt, but we are back, and October is here
in its glory.
This morning I bought a
bale of straw for the chickens, who are looking dopy and cross. They are
moulting and the coop is full of feathers. The farmer found a red-tail
hawk perched on the roof of the coop yesterday, peering hopefully through
the shadecloth at the chicken dinner below. The last of the corn and
tomatoes has been picked and the eggplant and squash and basil are gone.
We still have kale and the other greens and soon there will be spinach, and the
front of the stand is filled with pumpkins. The farmer brought a glory of
bittersweet home in the truck yesterday for me to wind around the pots on the
terrace which have lost their pretty tender summer tenants. I am
content that it is fall. And within a week or so a fat heavy package will
arrive from Taormina,
Sicilian flowerpots to fill with over-wintering perennials which will wait
out the long cold winter in a warm room with a view of the snow-covered fields
across the road.
Farmers wife Winter