And now it is solstice, that bittersweet reckoning of the gardener. I just came in from tying up my tomatoes. Everything out there is reaching for the sky. Up, up, up they go drawing nourishment from below and above. One of my runner beans actually made it to the top of the trellis today. Now what?
Well you can look for a hint in the garlic bed. Some of my soft necks are starting to bend over and I watch them closely for readiness for harvest. 4-6 dead leaves and it is time.
I am on my porch facing east taking in the solstice sunset from the obverse angle ... watching the shadows lengthen across the hayfield. I am aware that this time of planting and preparation is now at its zenith. Often when I am in the yard in say late April I will say to myself ... this is what the sun will be like in late August. In August there is a bountiful harvest ... even harvest fatigue ... but not so in the light of April. In that very same light, that very same exposure to the sun's angle and duration the garden is only barren possibilities. I comfort myself in those April moments that the days are still getting longer and the best is yet to come.
But today begins the undoing. It is a bittersweet moment.