The days are warm. The nights are cool.
We’ve had rain. We’ve had sun.
Everything’s lush and green, with late season blights and mildews just barely on the horizon.
Spring producers are long forgotten and fall producers weeks from maturing, but summer producers — the bulk of our garden bounty — are in full harvest mode.
Tomatoes. Green beans. Yellow beans. Zucchini. Yellow squash. Peppers. Swiss chard. Cucumbers. Grapes. Beets. Carrots. Tomatillos.
We’ve been spending every waking moment at home harvesting, eating and preserving. Picking, chopping, peeling, grating, blanching, juicing, freezing, canning.
We can hardly keep up with it, yet I enthusiastically accepted the gift of five dozen ears of fresh sweet corn from a friend. How could I resist?
It was yellow corn. Not wimpy white. Not sickly sweet bi-color. Hearty, yellow, full-kerneled corn.
But the look on my husband, Kevin’s face as we surveyed the overflowing box of dried silks and green husks in the kitchen echoed the feeling of dread settling in my stomach.
That corn may be the quintessential straw for our psyches.
A brief click of the pause button is what’s in order. Just for an evening or two.
So we could sit together and watch the daylight fade.
Point out the butterflies flitting from bloom to bloom.
Listen to the bees hum and the crickets chirp.
Wait for the neighborhood bats to wing through the yard in search of mosquitoes and wonder whether they’ve found the house we finally set up for them in the backyard.
Sip a fruit smoothie and dream about the garden’s future.
Tally this season’s missteps and map out how to correct them.
I’m never ready to say goodbye to sun and warmth and green growth. I much prefer the promise of late spring to the fait accompli of late summer.
Unless I take time to embrace it, this season so full of life will be over and we’ll be rushing headlong into gray skies, dirty snow and icy sidewalks.
Instead, we’ve got our heads down over knives and cutting boards, colanders and juicing kettles, canning jars and freezer bags.
We’re not celebrating the harvest, we’re slaves to its obligatory duties.
And it just makes me feel “blah.”