A September breeze waltzed through this August afternoon. I recognized it immediately. I was working in my outdoor kitchen, slicing peach after peach, thumbing out the pits with a satisfying slurp, dipping the flesh in a strawberry vinegar solution. The breeze had a certain swish, a lift that August breezes don’t have unless a storm is coming. But there was no storm coming, and this breeze was playing with the flame on my stove, threatening to blow it out, promising to bring more of the same in just a few weeks.
And so it is that summer really has come to an end, and we are in those in between days, when the leaves begin to thin and last day of swimming is nigh.
After I canned another batch of peaches I took care of a few assorted tasks, all the while hearing the call of the garden. So down I went to dig up potatoes. As I did I sang “Erin’s Lovely Home”–an Irish ballad that tells one man’s woes of crossing the Atlantic during a time of famine: “there were thousands more left upon the shore/ all anxious for to roam and/ leave the land where they were born/called Erin’s lovely home.” The humble potato, so weighty in the hand, such a blessing to poor farmers, such a loss if the crop were to fail.
Now the Moon rises above the ridge, full and round and gleaming yellow against the thickening blue sky. Katydids chant in the shadows, and the cool of evening deepens. Dinner is late, but we will be having our first meal from the finished cob oven tonight. There is no famine here, and this meal will be worth the wait.