September 2012

The fog’s rolled in, bringing the early night on even earlier, and the mornings coming late now, darkness tucking in around us on all sides. In this season of lessening light, I am grateful for the warmth and brightness in the people in my life, and the community living on this lovely spot of land I call home.

Today was a treat. Dona and I getting some girl time to talk shop about men, kids, work and what we are learning in this life, uninterrupted over a fancy lunch and drinks at Suda.? We headed back across town, stopping by the Verve 5th Anniversary Party replete with all things Santa Cruz foodie good being offered for free: Mary’s cookies, cupcakes, Feel Good Foods, Penny Creamery and a DJ rocking it as we toured their roastery and top secret labs.? Arriving westide we picked up my second hot date for the day and her dad to head north up the coast for the Freewheelin Farms Harvest Party.

Discovered there: more good food, friends, fantastic music, haybales, dogs, and crimson kobocha squash marking the path from the beach up through the fields. Harvest time, and how wonderful is mine this life. No need, no need, to be afraid of winter dark on its way. Plenty, plenty, to keep me warm.

Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith

Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can’t hear

anything, I can’t see anything —
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,

the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker —
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.

And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing —
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Sweet threesome with the tallest of the Nine Sisters, we scramble and skin knees shimmying up the knobby heights of Bishop’s Peak, hearts kathumping with the drop off on either side, California and her rolling hills laid out all around, so sweet in the sunset light we must launch off the top and just fly down the hill toward home. Dark night drive after a bellyfull at Docksiders, oysters in the back for tomorrow. Sunday’s football (we’re in America of course) and vineyard runs and office romps and another late night BBQ’d feast after a lazy lounge in the sunny patio swing. Night sky walk to end the weekend, catch minty stink bugs on the high dry dock and name the shapes in clouds, oak tree silhouettes. The moonlight makes pearls of us in the hot tub, diamonds of the sprinklers we run through later. And a sweet little flip flop love poem to end this.

I am thinking of a picture of him I did not take, but wished I had. Its flashed through my minds eye in unexpected moments this week like a new copper penny flipped up into the sun.

We’re heading northwest on Creston Road. Warm and gorgeous, the late summer late afternoon light lays on him after its dance through the miles of sky and the near oaks and his truck’s windows. Lit up are his long blue jeaned legs stretched out on the seat, his tan hand relaxed on the wheel, his sharp white button down shirt, his bright and kind smile curving up to a dimple; all glowing as things do in this harvest time light.? We’d dressed and headed for dinner, our first out together, and found a surprising nervousness and excitement in it – like teens headed to a dance, not sure exactly what to say, shy. I could not stop stealing glances and finally just looked long at him as he drove us further into the honeyed sun thinking: “how beautiful”, and “is this really my life right now?” and “lucky, lucky”.

Such a beautiful time of year, always. In all future ones I will remember this particular year’s late summer, and the sweet harvest being offered up for us.

What is your special harvest this year? ?? Tell me.??? Do you have any poem stories that speak to this?? Share them.? Thank you.

Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer
We turned into the drive,
and gravel flew up from the tires
like sparks from a fire. So much
to be done — the unpacking, the mail
and papers; the grass needed mowing …
We climbed stiffly out of the car.
The shut-off engine ticked as it cooled.
And then we noticed the pear tree,
the limbs so heavy with fruit
they nearly touched the ground.
We went out to the meadow; our steps
made black holes in the grass:
and we each took a pear,
and ate, and were grateful.
~ Jane Kenyon
Excerpt from “A Late Summer Garden”
She would like time to stop now, the sky, blue as radium,
the hills, bolts of calico, red & yellow, gold & green.
~ Barbara Crooker

Today we enjoyed an afternoon tea courtesy of the Friends of State Parks and the staff and volunteer docents of Wilder Ranch.

A delightful time, we arrived to seating in the shade on the sunny 70 degree front lawn of the Meder House.? We were served lemonade and invited to enjoy some lawn games, including horseshoes, at which we were all equally unimpressive in our talents, and croquet, upon which time we realized Natascha had found her sport.

Pressed by the heat and excitement of the games, we moved inside to tea and a round of parlor games.

As etiquette dictated, we engaged in soothing conversation only, avoiding politics and scandal and stayed safely in the territory of loveliness of the current the weather and our recent vacations.? The docents shared the history of the ranch and how life was during the 1900s.? As a helpful hint, here are some things to keep in mind for your next afternoon tea opportunity:

– Do not stir your tea, with your tea spoon, in sweeping circular motions. Place your tea spoon at the six o’clock position and softly fold the liquid towards the twelve o’clock position two or three times.
– Never leave your tea spoon in your tea cup. When not in use, place your tea spoon on the right side of the tea saucer.
– Never wave or hold your tea cup in the air. When not in use, place the tea cup back in the tea saucer.

Following tea we enjoyed a tour of the historic Meder and Wilder Ranch Victorians and were inspired by their loveliness and practicality.

Barbara worked the player piano in the parlor so we could take a spin.

I so enjoyed the day with my lovely lady friends and my mom.

The full set of our still pictures from the day may be enjoyed here. I know I will enjoy reflecting back on this lovely afternoon for awhile yet to come.

They’ll be auctioning another Afternoon Tea off on October 20th at the Wilder Ranch Heritage Harvest Festival where you can also savor heritage apple tasting, carve pumpkins, and make corn husk dolls. Stop on by!