How appropriate that it rained the night before the equinox! Ushering in the first few hints of autumn, the showers brought some cooler weather, falling leaves, and the heartbreaking change of light that comes this time of year. Now, nights are lengthening and days are dramatically shorter, the sun only rising so high in the sky. The harvest moon came big and gold, alerting those of us who grow things that it is time to pick our crops.
Earth’s equator passes the center of the Sun, and its s axis inclines neither away from nor towards the Sun. Traditionally, this time of “equal night” (the word equinox’s meaning in Latin) and equal day celebrates the bounty of the harvest.
In our garden, B. and I have worked hard, lucky with tomatoes, Blue Lake pole beans, cucumbers, and a continued crop of Swiss chard, Red Russian kale, two kinds of basil, parsley, mint, and rosemary. To come (hopefully) are pumpkins ripening on the vine, squash (butternut and zucchini), and possibly corn – although we planted that late and it’s not looking too promising.
How to preserve the joy of being outside at this time of year? The intoxicating aroma of tomatoes and their leaves; the warmth of the slanting sun on our necks; the quickening activity of bees, butterflies, and birds? My clumsy first attempts at canning are one way. Remembering how my mother loved to work in the yard, and appreciating all we have is another, that’s far more meaningful and lasting.