For this Not-So-Wordless Wednesday post, I thought I would share the words of others, words that could somehow capture my feelings as I stand in the garden clipping some of the final blooms.
“Sorrow and scarlet leaf,
Sad thoughts and sunny weather.
Ah me, this glory and this grief
Agree not well together.”
Thomas Parson, 1880, A Song for September
“For summer there, bear in mind, is a loitering gossip, that only begins to talk of leaving when September rises to go.” – George Washington Cable
There is a definite chatter as I get to work, selecting what’s left among the flowers. Looking at the leggy stems, some of them browned, and the leaves dusted with powdery mildew, I can definitely hear a chorus of pleasantries and goodbyes as the summer guests make their way to the garden gate.
“A late summer garden has a tranquility found no other time of year.” – William Longgood
There is a definite somberness and calmness in the garden today. Perhaps it’s because plants that I have nurtured for so long, some from seed started in February, are leaving after a full season of delivering what was promised — and paying my respects is the right thing to do. Maybe it has to do with the color of the sunlight, warm and golden, fading from the brightness of July. The shadows seem longer, and the colors more muted – and yet, it feels warm and glowing, especially as the sunlight hits the faintest change of color in the leaves overhead. More likely, though, the overwhelming sense stems from a combination of the two — and a little imagination.
“Spring flowers are long since gone. Summer’s bloom hangs limp on every terrace. The gardener’s feet drag a bit on the dusty path and the hinge in his back is full of creaks.” – Louise Seymour Jones
Oh, yes, there’s a lot of dragging and creaking happening by this time of year. I do feel the energy of summer leaving me — or maybe it’s just sympathy pains for the plants. Gardeners, I think, develop a kind of symbiotic (or co-dependent) relationship with their charges. When they sprout, I sprout. When they bloom, I bloom. And when they wither away, a piece of me goes with them also . . .
Until the process starts all over again.