Back in the Present

Today I found myself firmly planted in the present as I was standing in my garden on a golden August afternoon, contemplating all the work which needs to be done.

I live in a small house, in a small grove, surrounded by woodland and nature in general. The wildlife includes black bears, moose, deer, foxes, bobcats, lynx, coyote, raccoons, beaver, otters, muskrats, and the ever present squirrels, chipmunks, mice, voles, frogs, toads, salamanders and snakes. The air is full of birds small and large, including bald eagles, osprey, hawks, ravens, crows, herons and the wee comedians, the hummingbirds.

The small grove is filled with shrubs, flower beds, vegetable plots, gravel paths and bits of lawn. Around the edges can be found patches of wild strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

Although it was still a beautiful summer day, the quality of the light has changed. The sun no longer rides as high in the sky, and the shadows are lengthening. Soon it will be fall, and the maple tree behind the house will flood the back porch each morning with its lovely orangey red colour.

The countryside, with its valleys and hills, will look glorious then. The fields, like pieces of green velvet, will be surrounded with red, orange, gold and russet trees, shrubs, and bracken. But soon enough the rains and high winds will blow the leaves in great drifts in every nook and cranny of the garden. This is a very busy time for me. A time of gathering. A time to pick the vegetables and berries, and process them for winter, which generally means much blanching of vegetables, jam, jelly and pickle making. Apples will be picked and sliced, and stored in the freezer to make pies and apples sauce during the winter. The gardens must all be cleaned up before the snow comes, and there is still a pile of fire wood to be put under cover, so I won’t freeze during the cold months ahead.

Perhaps it seems odd to be thinking about winter at the end of August, but when it comes, it can come with a vengeance. Then I’ll be staying cozy and warm by the wood stove, reading books and using my computer. Then I’ll be sticking close to home and digging into ancient history once again, but for the moment I must attend to my chores for a while, so I hope that you will understand that I will not be posting anything new for a bit, because it will be work, work, work from morning till night. By the end of the day I’m usually just too tired to concentrate on ancient history, or anything else for that matter.