We are saying goodbye to the garden for the next two weeks. I love this time of year so much, and it is hard to leave, knowing that these nasturtiums will likely not be standing tall when we return.
They’ve given us their spicy sweet all summer long. Wandering around the garden, I gather one last bouquet and inhale deeply before we adventure off across the Atlantic Ocean.
The colors seem especially brilliant this year with all the rain and overcast skies.
More so than any season, in October I feel I’m like going out into a new landscape every morning.
I find that I want to spend as much time as I can outside, even in the rain.
I want to tell you about reaching up
into the apple tree
to pick a wild apple,
when a shower came down from the leaves
and a drop fell on the corner of my right eye
and rolled down my face —
a single tear.
in the sage
after nighttime revelations,
headaches and sick toddlers,
rain for days,
cold and wet and lovely
so many gifts outside
beckoning us to come
“You make it too easy”
Should I reject “too easy,” I ask;
should I stay inside, withholding,
rather than walk into the wet, wild world
calling with rain?
One of my children doesn’t love to be photographed right now, and I am trying my best to respect that but sometimes I just can’t help myself.
Bringing in the house plants that spent the summer outside; wondering at how much they’ve grown; getting soil all over the kitchen table and floor and counter . . .
The greenhouse seed babies are thriving and this little man has been busy making a mud pit full of “hot cocoa” just outside the door. I’m thinning and he’s brewing; so come on over for some cool microgreens and warm drinks! I love gardening in this giant terrarium on the cusp of autumn. It’s such a paradox to watch new life burst forth as everything else outside slows down and lets go.
I wished I had brought my Nikon camera. My old Olympus just doesn’t do well in low light. And yet, it was dark in there, in the evening, in the swamp. So, there is something about this photo that feels especially true.
I’m watching her love her fur boy Theo on the edge of the woods, with the late September light on her hands, feeling so grateful for unconditional dog love when so many things in this world are so complicated.
Last fall I wrote a piece for Wild + Free on fermenting with children. It is one of my favorite articles I did for the magazine because everyone in our family helped with the photos, the recipes, and the fermentation! One year later, everyone is gathered around again, making a new ferment: Giardiniera. Jeffrey’s endless enthusiasm for fermentation experimentation is contagious. I think we are raising a whole brood of wildcraft makers and brewers.
After the Giardiniera project, we made wild grape soda: one of our September traditions and favorite ferments!
Out in the rainy mist, looking for lichen, fungi, and moss. Kissing the boy.
We’ve gathered around for our annual Calendula Salve making this afternoon!
This year we’re making lip balm with petals we’ve been soaking in olive oil since the end of the summer. The magic of summer sunshine preserved as golden goodness pulls us all into the kitchen. Each year the girls do more and more on their own. I find myself mostly watching and soaking up the wonder of this messy, rich process.
“I salute you!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
No peace lies in the future, which is not hidden in this present instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”
— Fra Giovanni, AD 1513 (Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book)