The Turn of the Wheel–writing season begins

Here it is, arriving suddenly.  On Thursday, it was still Indian summer, sunny and hot.  Today is Saturday and that season has fled.   This is a wet snow, and won’t stick. Next week, it will be warm again—but instead of collecting a few more roses, another couple of squashes, I will put the garden to bed for the winter. Cut down the frozen stalks of corn, compost the wilted squash, the frost killed tomatillo, so prolific that I am secretly glad I won’t have to figure out how to use 10,000 more of them.

When I first looked out this morning, on the wilted, frozen plants that have been my companions all summer, I felt melancholy.  The summer is gone for certain now.  Another swift move of the calendar, this very particular summer, this sweet year of my new garden–gone.

And yet…I knew the freeze was on the way, so I found this little greenhouse at the local big box gardening spot.  (I had planned to buy PVC pipe and build one—this is ever so much better, and only a tiny bit more expensive.)  It’s lightweight, and easy enough to assemble that I did everything but the cover by myself in about 2 hours.  It would have been less, but I mixed up two parts and had to redo them.   It’s not all battened down just yet—I had hoped to do that today, but it will wait until Monday or Tuesday now, when the weather will be warmer again.

Stepping into that protected world last night, where the tomatoes are growing, and some more potatoes, I felt a sense of deep quiet.  Here, I can extend the season, both now and in the spring.  Here, I can have a secret stash of fresh, home-grown tomatoes and herbs. It’s too late this year to do it, but in the future, I can plan what the greenhouse bed will hold and provide myself with more herbs and fresh edibles, and create a place of puttering solace for the winter, at least part of it.

Gazing out at the snug little greenhouse, I felt sweet anticipation creeping beneath the melancholy, edging it out of the way.  After a break of more than two months, the girls in the basement woke up and peered over my shoulders, yawning and scrubbing their eyes.  “Hooray!” they cried. “It’s the writing season! Make some cinnamon tea while we get dressed.  We have lots of stories to tell you.”

Another season begins—fresh and unmarked.  So it is.


8 thoughts on “The Turn of the Wheel–writing season begins

  1. Deborah Blake

    I am in much the same place, and feeling much the same things. No snow here, but a killing frost three nights in a row (followed, ironically, by the prediction of 5 record-breaking warm days) that killed the last of the basil, the tomatoes, and the squash. Time to tear it all down, and clear the beds for their winter rest.

    There is always a tug-of-war between regret and relief as I say goodbye to another gardening season. But my girls in the basement are stirring too, and as the wheel turns, I hope I will harvest a different kind of crop in the quieter months to come.

    So mote it be 🙂

  2. Sonny

    Do you care to mention the name of the store where you bought that protective little, easy to assemble greenhouse? I’m interested in it for my own struggling-please-don’t-end-the-season-just-yet plants. By the way, I realized if my fingers are off the keyboard just a bit, my name comes out spammy. Go figure —

    • Barbara Samuel

      Of course, Sonny. I bought it at Lowe’s. It was so easy! Probably easier with a second set of hands, but not bad with just one.

  3. Glad to hear the girls are awake!

  4. I came to visit your blog because the ladies at today’s Colorado Springs SCBWI meeting at the Firehouse spoke so very highly of you.

    I guess that’s been the best part of this book journey for me…connecting with special people.

    Your post awoke memories of mine that were just barely napping. For twenty-five years, while we raised our three children, we lived in a small town in Connecticut in an old home that had once been a dancehall. Behind the house was a quarter of an acre of the most unbelievably fertile land…with 100 blueberry bushes, an old asparagus patch, red and black raspberries that drove us crazy because they multiplied faster than we could cut them down…and they were covered with thorns in addition to the delicious berries.

    When you mentioned the overabundance of squash, I smiled because that was the one vegetable we could not get to grow without losing most of the vines to rot and other infestations. You must be doing something right with your garden…just as you are with your writing. 🙂

    Now that we are in Colorado, we don’t have that Garden of Eden anymore. Hiking and fly-fishing the Colorado Rockies is definitely a soothing balm for body and soul…but I do miss the joy of contemplating my garden plan while sitting on newly-plowed sweet-smelling sun-warmed earth.

    • Barbara Samuel

      Hello, Vivian! So glad you stopped by. I love imagining your glorious, fertile garden. And yes, there are compensations to living in Colorado, even if the gardener is challenged.

  5. Randolph Pouliotte

    It isn’t in the past lake discussed that topic with just the equivalent outcome.

  6. Very well written thread. It will be valuable to anybody who usess it, as well as me. Keep doing what you are doing i will definitely read more posts.

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