sunrise on sunflowers on the last day of august

sunrise, sunflowers, farm, august, end of summer“August rain:  the best of the summer gone, the new fall not yet born.

The odd uneven time.” 

Silvia Plath

September dawns tomorrow.  Many mornings this week dawned moist, cooler, with the smallest hint of changing seasons.  It is close.  The beginning of the end.  Although my own sunflowers bloomed early this year, in a year where everything was early, this morning when I woke before the rest of the house and stepped outside to catch the rising sun on the inhale, the sight of them with the kiss of sunrise on their petals really hit this truth home for me.  Autumn is coming, but not quite here.

And what makes this in between time so uneven and odd, I think, for everyone, is that we are beginning to long for the sweet, slow contraction that comes with fall.  After the way summer explodes us, opens us wide to the world, its full days and full living, we grow tired of all that expansiveness.  In spirit for sure, but as farmers, in body too, now that hours upon hours have been spent picking summer crops in the same repetitive position.  Our backs and legs begin to complain.  We begin to long for a little bit of structure and containment.  The wild abandon feels too much.  We want the growth to slow.  We want to turn inwards, face away from the sun some.

And this inkling tickles us while we wait for the world to fall in upon itself.  We know what we are letting go of~summer~is worthy of our love and we know that one of these days will mark our last swim in the river, our last chance to camp in the tent, our last outdoor summer potluck or gathering.  We know we can’t wish it away too soon because we know will miss it.  That by the end of winter we will feel all of this in reverse.  This uneven tinkering between the end and the beginning is always filled with this mild angst.

And so I fret a little myself, torn between a really strong desire to not weed another single row of vegetables for the season and to give my neglected home a thorough cleaning and an equally strong sensation of wanting this time to last forever, of wanting to harvest and preserve as much as possible, to really keep at it for as long as the sun will allow.

sunflowers, sunrise, end of summer, autumn, seasonsSunflowers are always the one for me right now, my guide, so to speak, at this time of year.  The way they follow the sun while it lasts is as good a reminder as any that this is what our trade calls us to do while we still can.  All the hay isn’t in, so to speak, we can’t quit now.  And even some cool morning weather and some fallen rain and some gentle winds that speak of change can surprisingly balance with the days that are still hot and are still long enough.  The way I told it to my market customers earlier this week was this, as the weather literally changed back and forth over and over again throughout the day, “how crazy is this day!”

Perhaps we are all going a little stir crazy, not in the exact way we are when we long for spring and call it cabin fever, but in much the same way.  We desire some time in our “cabin”, won’t that be nice.  And much like we feel when spring turns us out of doors again, amazed and refreshed, this we will feel when we do finally get to tuck in for winter.  Having to get through the crazy-making in between times only means the respite that follows will be that much sweeter.

sunflower, seasons, autumn, end of summer, august, farm