The last of our garden tomatoes – Russian Black and Italian plum, both ripe and unripe.

 The last of our rosemary bush – chopped, tied, and hung in the kitchen to dry. Sprigs of rosemary will go into the water I use to humidify the air in the house this winter.

The last of our garden flowers – pink cosmos, and purple butterfly bush.

Yesterday, we picked the last of the tomatoes, and my husband tilled the plants into the soil. I took the last few flowers from the flower bed -a small bouquet of pink cosmos and purple butterfly bush – put them in a vase, and placed it on our indoor shrine. I chopped the rosemary bush to the soil line, tied up bunches of it, and hung the last of our fresh garden rosemary in the kitchen to dry.

These were the last of the garden chores for the season. Everything rests now. It was a blissful and productive summer, punctuated with lots of great, fresh garden food. It was cold this morning, so I filled the bird feeder with black oil sunflower seeds, and made some strong, hot tea.

I’m sad, I’m not going to lie about it. Winter feels like an interminable season. I dislike putting on heavy clothes, socks, and shoes. I miss the scent of the ocean. I worry about animals outdoors when the weather becomes bitterly cold.

Now, the time is here to make pots of tea to sip all day, read great books, make things grow indoors, consider house projects, enjoy football, get deep into Buddhism studies, renew our Sunday delivery of The New York Times, and maybe reconnect with friends.

Come January, the spring gardening catalogs will start to roll in. And we’ll be planning the summer garden.

There is one long, large pot of young arugula off the kitchen door outside. In about a week, I’ll chop it all and make one last big arugula salad, or I’ll plant it in a row in the greens area of the food garden, cover it with a tunnel, and see how long it goes. I’m keeping it simple these days, so it might just be a big salad in October.

Today is the anniversary of my dad’s death. And we learned the day before yesterday that our beautiful friend River will be alive for only a few more days. He didn’t beat the cancer.
And the garden sleeps. Change and impermanence. Nothing stays the same, and we’re called upon to accept it all with grace, even gratitude. That’s my work for now.

Live in peace.

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