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The colors of twilight

The colors of twilight
October 9, 2008 Mary Jo

There are many things we didn’t glean from the garden this year. I’ve lamented those in posts past, and am mentally correcting the errors for next year. But that is only half the story.

This year, our oversize, overambitious garden has yielded perhaps not the whole spectrum of a rainbow’s colors, but chose instead to highlight only the most vivid and beautiful. We were witness to golds so pure and bright, they leave little doubt that the sun herself delivered them. At this moment, a head of broccoli is transforming the sun’s rays into the most beautiful shade of frosty green I’ve ever seen. It is, indeed, the first head of broccoli I’ve grown. And the handfuls of hard, green tomatoes, plucked from the vines before the imminent frost – will these be able to make the long journey across the color wheel from green to red? I’ve nestled them among a ripe red tomato in the safety and warmth of the kitchen, to give them inspiration and a sense of direction.

These colors we’ve waited for, hoped for, even arrogantly anticipated.

But these colors came as a complete and wonderful surprise.

Shell beans, capturing all the colors of twilight and wistful memories of summer evenings that stretched on for hours. And hours. It’s fitting to have this juxtaposition now, as we’re reveling in the magic of Autumn, enjoying the crispness that brings us relief from the heat and an explosion of fiery color. This reminder of summer evenings crackling with heat and electricity help us to further ground ourselves in the magic of now, the magic of fall. Not because we long for those endless hours or the heat of that season, but because our journey through that time has led us to here, a brief but full-fledged celebration, a last hurrah, before the long winter’s nap.

We’ve committed fully to Fall now, and wholeheartedly. Windows are sealed, forgotten long-sleeves and corduroy pants are slowly making their way into our drawers. A bounty of locally-grown vegetables are finding their way into our freezer, our cellar, and into the ever-growing shelves of the pantry; canning season is in full force. The clothespins have migrated from the line to their protective bag indoors, though a bit prematurely, it seems, as we welcome temps in the high seventies this weekend. I’d be surprised if they didn’t start parading back out for just a bit longer.

And Halloween! We’ve embraced the Halloween spirit with an enthusiasm even greater than that of years past. With a tear in our eye, we’ve revisited our favorite Halloween books that first became part of our routine last year, committed to memory by our then-2yr-old and now again this year.

This year, we celebrate skeletons! Oh, how we love skeletons! And pirates. Perhaps inspired by Pirate Daddy, who is often channeled to read bedtime stories, Isadora has gleefully decided to be a pirate for Halloween. Which means Pirate Momma has some sewing work ahead of her, and this she greatly relishes.

Yes, we honor the memory of the Summer season now past, but with no longing or remorse. We are far too busy celebrating the wild ruckus that is The Fall.

I will leave this post on one very important footnote.

The project of shelling beans is a supremely terrific activity for two little hands, especially these little ones, known in our house for their superior skill in peeling garlic. You can bet that I will be squirreling away bunches of bean pods in the pockets of my apron to pull out in emergency situations, like End-of-my-Rope or Gotta-Make-Supper-Now or even Really-Have-to-Blog-Today.

Hot tip for anyone out there for anyone with similar little hands and access to beans.

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