"The last long aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question "Whither?"
Have you ever noticed how many poems are about fall? Robert Frost, who wrote those lines, gave us many. As summer turns to autumn, I find myself asking the same question the old New Englander did: Whither? What's next?
The transition between seasons will be subtler this year in Sonoma, where I live. Our summer has been darker and cooler than usual. In July and August, we had what my Louisiana friends call "gumbo weather." I resigned myself, did what they do, and made a gumbo.
If summer is a time for taking off and sleeping late, fall is industry. What grew in the garden must now be contained in brine and jars, or sugared and jellied, or stashed in the freezer with a prayer the power doesn't go out.
Again to Frost:
"Give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest."