August 2014

further in summer than the birds…


“Further in Summer than the Birds
Pathetic from the Grass
A minor Nation celebrates
Its unobtrusive Mass.

No Ordinance be seen
So gradual the Grace
A pensive Custom it becomes
Enlarging Loneliness.

Antiquest felt at Noon
When August burning low
Arise this spectral Canticle
Repose to typify.

Remit as yet no Grace
No Furrow on the Glow
Yet a Druidic Difference
Enhances Nature now.”

-Emily Dickinson


Emily Dickinson usually leaves me wondering. But even the opacity of her words speak to my heart, this late August morn. August…when I expect to be sweltering and enduring, overwhelmed with bounty from the garden. Instead, I am wrapping up the loaf of crusty bread and putting it in the freezer to wait for the tomatoes that remain green on the vine…


…and I put layers on in the morning and feel the emptiness of the pasture, over to the east, while I work in my studio or read on the porch. Our last sweet goat died last month after a long and rich seventeen years with us, and the neighbor’s sheep have gone home so that the pasture can renew itself…


Instead of summer rhythms, I find the autumnal ones are so early weaving their way into my days as I start a pot of rice cooking in the morning or take a walk in the not-too-hot afternoon and notice the crickets more than the cicadas….


…already savoring the golden, easy, warmth that is becoming somewhat elusive, as I spend more time with paper and plans than water and flowers…


No doubt all will be August-like a few turnings of the earth from now, nor do I wish for it to be different than it is. The stillness, the cloud-covered sky and those birds far from me are writing for me today.


And whether I will find myself sipping some chilled rosy wine on the little terrace as the sun dips this evening, or a warming cup of tea in the kitchen while the rain falls…it is all good. My deario will be with me, perhaps a son will wander by and we will break out a deck of cards.


For now, tho’, I will put the now-done rice in the ‘fridge and get to all of my work that awaits.

Sending you these late-August birds of thoughts and pictures as they flutter by, with fondness…xo

morning kitchen…


Moths and clutter led me to start refreshing the corner pantry cupboard a few days ago…


…and an early morning walk inspired me to finish (tho’ I think it was more the sunshine and flowers).


Fresh paper, the old boards sprayed and wiped with orange-scented homemade cleaner, all of the the jars that were still full of wholesome and-shall we say-uncompromised foodstuffs were put back in their shining rows.


Grains and legumes…herbs for nourishing herbal infusions (as Susun Weed says)….dried fruit and the granola jar. It looks rather bare….lovely, but bare. Too many jars had to be emptied and the contents composted, as the summer heat did its work in my pantry while I wasn’t paying attention.


So I am glad that we are going to be focusing on thoughtfully stocking our pantries when Wisteria & Sunshine opens its doors again in a few weeks. We will very slowly and steadily find the best sources for oats…coffee…potatoes…all the delicious ingredients that we feed ourselves and our families with. Keeping the earth in mind with each marketing decision and beauty and usefulness when we bring it all home to our kitchens.


In the meantime, the contents of my cupboard may not get as much use as usual for our very late summer garden is finally coming into ripeness. We savored our first tomato sandwiches yesterday, sitting outside in the shade of the elm tree….and sliced our first zucchini oh-so-thinly on top of a simple pizza last evening as the sun set, savoring the last of summer and this August that continues to amaze us with its mildness and warmth.