As meteorological summer comes to an end, I must say it’s been a great ride. I will continue picking and even pickling my cucumbers and harvest whatever M. Nature provides. I will post updates to my blog—and in late September I will go into my kitchen to enjoy the fruits of my labor and reflect upon the first of what I hope to be many, many more green summers. It is hard to find the words to express the many miracles of nature that I experienced in my own little “Walden” this summer. As much as things change, things say the same. So I'd like to borrow the thoughts of Henry David Thoreau and what I do believe he would have put on his blog over 100 years ago if only he had one:
“Thoughts on Beans.”
“Meanwhile my beans, the length of whose rows, added together, was seven miles already planted, were impatient to be hoed, for the earliest had grown considerably before the latest were in the ground; indeed they were not easily to be put off. What was the meaning of this so steady and self-respecting, this small Herculean labor, I knew not. I came to love my rows, my beans, though so many more than I wanted. They attached me to the earth, and so I got strength like Antæus. But why should I raise them? Only Heaven knows. This was my curious labor all summer — to make this portion of the earth's surface, which had yielded only cinquefoil, blackberries, johnswort, and the like, before, sweet wild fruits and pleasant flowers, produce instead this pulse. What shall I learn of beans or beans of me? I cherish them, I hoe them, early and late I have an eye to them; and this is my day's work. It is a fine broad leaf to look on. My auxiliaries are the dews and rains, which water this dry soil, and what fertility is in the soil itself, which for the most part is lean and effete. My enemies are worms, cool days, and most of all woodchucks. The last have nibbled for me a quarter of an acre clean. But what right had I to oust johnswort and the rest, and break up their ancient herb garden? Soon, however, the remaining beans will be too tough for them, and go forward to meet new foes.”
Please allow me to close with a line adapted from T.S. Elliot’s The Hollow Man—“this is the way the summer ends, this is the way the summer ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.”
See you in September. Gg.