Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Decline that Promises Something New

October is my favorite month of the year. I've been inclined to think that good things come in October, largely because it's the month that saw the birth of my brother, one of my stepsons, and one of my nieces. It also has signaled a clear shift in seasons, a reprieve, no matter where I have lived. In Florida, where seasons bleed into one another, making it difficult to determine when one has ended and other has begun, October was the month when we could finally open the doors and welcome the fresh, cooler air of outdoors. It saw the harvesting of vegetables that I couldn't grow through the summer, such as peppers, tomatoes, and corn. In cooler climes, we looked forward to the colorful cloak that the trees put on in October, an incredible mix of red, orange, and yellow, before the leaves fell to the ground and made a crunch underfoot.

I love the grey sky days of fall, the bite of cooler air, the spices that I seem to smell in the kitchen, a reminder of celebrations to come. I love the middle of the semester, after mistakes have been made but before the final sentence has been passed and when the proverbial ship can still be righted. I love the promise of October.

We finally got rain this week--real rain. It wasn't the pathetic little showers that lasted for five or ten minutes in summer, that brought raindrops which merely smacked the hard Georgia clay, never penetrating the ground but always evaporating in the heat. The rain on Monday night and Tuesday lasted 12 hours or more. It was a heavy, consistent, nourishing rain. It made the pond look a little less desperate. I don't have any photos of the pond at its worst. I couldn't bring myself to chronicle its demise. I hope that saying it was no more than two inches deep will suffice. The new photos, however, are encouraging. The pond has expanded its margins by at least five feet on all sides, swallowing most of the opportunistic sedge grass that grew as the pond declined.

Before it looked like a mud pit. Now it looks like a flooded

But it's a pretty flooded area.

As the leaves fall, I run around the property with rake in hand, scooping up the leaves and filling bags and trash cans (with appropriate drain holes) to make leaf mould. I walked down the driveway today with the wheelbarrow and rake to collect a huge pile of fallen pine needles which provided the six inches of mulch I needed to cover the garlic I planted a few days ago.

Free mulch!

October may begin the season of decline, but it is already producing the promise of future growth.

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