There are so many things I have wanted to write, could write, but simply lacked the stamina to apply any mental energy here. Last week was “Back to School” week for all four of us, I’d better face the fact that this summer has come to a close.
Here’s one thing I can say about returning – Home is most certainly where the garden is! The fact that this year’s bounty is from a garden that was given to us in our own backyard astounds me each time I see and pick from it. The friends who made this happen know us well. They understand that nothing could root us more swiftly and deeply than working in, picking, and eating from the garden. Imagine my reaction upon entering the backyard to find tomatoes (18 plants!), eggplant, broccoli, kale, basil, spinach, cucumber, cauliflower. “Mom! Mom! Someone has planted your garden!” Simon called out as my tears began to flow.
Before we even entered our house there were familiar corners to inspect. Yes, the squirrels have spared us a few raspberries. “Look…we’re gonna have a good apple year!” And even our front door smiled out a welcome.
Those first weeks were a flurry of reunions, many that looked like this:
We indulged in missed foods. Bagels! Smoothies!
We celebrated birthdays and sent Simon off to camp.
The weeks ticked by and here it is September. How can it be that time moves so swiftly in this place and culture? I’m fighting it and watching it unfold at the same time. Nothing reminds me of that more than the launch of a new school year. Elsa Ruth is a third grader and Simon is braving sixth grade at middle school.
During these past months I would have liked more than anything for time to crawl or even stall! But it chugs along and I see that time is a puzzle in our friends lives too as people face major events. We watched as dear friends uprooted and moved far away. Others hang on every minute as they wait for a clear treatment for their hospitalized child. It’s enough to make you want to yell “Stop! Stop!”
Just like every year, I am reminded that one remedy for that run-away time feeling is a garden. With a counter like this and more outside the work required from our hands is comforting, tangible, and slow. Time – we are eating it, seeing it, working it. This 2016 harvest is the gift of home, nourishment for the body and soul.