The garden is in its waning days but continues to put out tidy broccoli florets and zucchini the size of dirigibles. We pulled a basket of black cherry tomatoes from underneath weary stalks--now a light tomato sauce--and coaxed some rosy, perfect apples from the upper reaches of the tree.

Everything has lost the fresh vigor of early summer. The brussel sprouts lay on the ground, ripening (I hope) and the pepper plant, laden with late fruit, leans heavily. There are colors and smells in the garden now that the green-summer lacks, ochres, tinges of orange, the wet crimson of overripe tomatoes, leaves crisping brown. The scent of the earth is light, spent, while that of the foliage is spicey and sweet, the smell of endings.

People tend to adore or mourn this time of the year. We're mad for it: the waning light the color of persimmon, the still warm sun, trees aflame, their leaves bright scarlet. For us the dying of the light isn't a dark harbinger but rather a signal to busy ourselves in cozy, more interior ways. But right now it's all I can do to stay inside, reluctant to miss even an hour of this glorious month.                 



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