Posted by: Aunt Magaidh | September 8, 2013

Summer Leaves

Summer Leaves.

It’s a play on words.

Summer is a time full of chaos.  The garden gets her feet under her and she goes crazy with tomatoes and  green growth.  Birds tweet and chirp and chase each other.  The resident hummingbird buzzes blossoms and our heads when we stand still enough.  Green peaches cluster in branches, promising.

Summer in our household, started in June.  Husband and I redecorated Daughter’s bedroom to celebrate her transition from freshman to sophomore.  Painting and furniture scavenging and curtain sewing and arranging of art peaked into a new oasis for study and hanging out.  Then we made the trek up to Ashland, Oregon to fetch Daughter back from her first year of college.  Boxes exploded from our pickup truck and into the house and garage.  Then Daughter immediately started a summer course of calculus that required much homework help from husband, stress, pep talks, and prayers.  Six hard, painful, formula-ridden weeks later, cries of celebration ensued with the arrival of her passing grade.

Work for Husband and myself continued to be busy.  He and his team worked on a new exhibit for the science center.  I attempted to keep up with the growing demands of my boss’s growing business, including planning and completing an office move out of the converted hone garage and into another office, and being rewarded with a 1.5 hour daily commute.  (We’ll get back to that.)

The garden played host to a couple of weekends of fiber fun with some wonderful women I know. One weekend the Spinning Sisters sorted mountains of inherited alpaca fleece that a friend passed to me.  The front yard was littered with 2 ft high piles of plastic bags full of brown  and cream and silver and redwood and blond and black wool as we sorted.  Neighbors walking by stopped  and asked questions and were treated to impromptu demonstrations on washing and sorting and spinning of wool.

The second weekend, a subset of the Spinning Sisters took over the house and we carded and spun and carded and knit and carded … with sweat glistening on faces and arms. ( Note to fiber fiends out there: Not good to have a fiber retreat weekend when there is a heat wave.  It gets rather sticky. )

July saw the Independence Day ritual of picking ollallieberries in Pescadero with friends.  Picnic food and tide pooling and the annual kelp battles were all enjoyed.  Peaches ripened on the tree, then found their way to our mouths.  Juicy, ripe, fragrant, old-fashioned peaches – not the cardboard tasting grocery store peaches that promise,  but disappoint.  Peaches made me think on what was important to me.  Weekends became treasured breaks from work for me.  I began hating my commute and feeling completely worn out by the time I got home.  I started feeling antsy.  I started plotting murder of the neighborhood (illegal) rooster for reminding me at 5:30 am that my day was starting.  I tried to squelch these uncharitable thoughts.  I started looking at how I needed to change things.  I bought myself time by cutting my hair.

Summer took on a crisper, crunchier air.  The grass gave up trying to be green and faded to a shallow golden color, knowing any hope for rain was months away.  Lemons ripened, weeds attacked, paint continued to chip on the back porch – reminding errant homeowners that projects needed doing.  My mind turned to the fall.

The end of summer always brings me to evaluation time.  That is what harvest is…a time of evaluation.  You see what came of the hard work of planting and watering and tending.  For me, August is when I note the figs plumping up and think about where I want to be in my life.

August brought the news of a friend getting breast cancer.  Another friend lost her mother.  Daughter started sorting things to repack for school.  I started thinking.

Labor Day came and was full of things that needed to be done and things that we wanted to do.  Balance became the message.

The other day I was walking in a park and saw the poison oak turning scarlet amongst the berry bushes.  Change became the word.

I’m watching the leaves on the peach tree droop. They are still green, but I see just a little tiredness in their form.  I know that they are starting to send the nutrients back to the wood.  The tree is preparing for winter , here in the warmth of September.  It and I have noticed the light changing.

I’m preparing for winter.  I gave my boss the heads up that I need to find a job closer to home.  I’ve started interviewing for a new job.  I’m getting used to my new bobbed hairstyle…kind of a 1930s look.  Not the Birkenstock, hippie mama look I’ve sported before.  Very much a change.  And I started knitting.  A chemo cap is packaged and ready to mail.  A comfort scarf is nearly finished and will be needing an envelope soon.  I’ve bought a journal.

My birthday is on Tuesday.  For me it is summer leaving.  This year I turn 50.  I keep thinking how I need to celebrate.    I think a nice glass of bubbly and sitting and watching the leaves.



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