There is no doubt Fall is here and part of me is already waxing nostalgic for the dizzyingly warm days of July, September passing as it did in a tilt-a-whirl seasonal recalibration: these heady dahlias a fleeting windowsill-decorating gift from a friend’s garden. So much changes in three weeks…
The blessing of New England is seasonal variety, and we can either resist or relish change. I choose relish. The light is shifting and the air smells of wet beech leaves. Cool dewy mornings give way to peeled-off layers in the sunny afternoons. Last Sunday we crowded fifteen people around our kitchen table (it was raining out) to eat frittata, salads composed of beets and squash, heirloom tomatoes, banana bread, panna cotta, baked brie… I did not take one photo during the visit, immersed as I was in conversation, holding our new friend’s new baby and tasting artfully prepared food. Gathering with friends to talk and eat one Sunday afternoon a month is a tradition I am initiating- right now-this month. Afterward, Chris and I and friends and two of their sons walked in conservation land behind the house. First, we visited the the rock head sculptures.
After that we ambled on post-rain pine needles amidst damp trees and slippery rocks, climbed the glacial boulders called Castle Rock, planned ice skating on the little backyard pond, picked up acorns, and at Sarah’s suggestion, chewed thick dark, wild-growing wintergreen teaberry leaves. Yesterday I made tisane: boiling water poured over fresh teaberry and lemon verbena leaves.
Twelve year old Ian brought me a little heart shaped leaf from our back yard. “Eat it,” he instructed. Wood sorrel bursts with a delicate crunch of lemon; the leaves, roots and flowers are all edible. It’s heartening to see how Sarah and Tom have encouraged their kids to admire and explore their natural world.
Talking while walking in the forest is an activity I cherish. I also go to the woods alone as often as I can to walk, run, observe. It’s one of the best places I know to hear my inner voice. I go in with questions and come out with clarity and perspective.
We visited the wind-tattered prayer flags my yoga class made in December and which I and a friend hung near a Native American site behind my house with. According to Tibetan tradition, prayers are released on the wind and elements.
After everyone left I looked around my cozy home and felt utterly grateful. Eight year old Luca made me a whittled stick sculpture. Sarah brought me adorable gifts in a lime bag (I shall copy her idea and save all citrus bags for this purpose). My table is still adorned with zinnias from my garden.