The end of the year is not quite here, but we have that Solstice feeling already, simultaneously looking backwards and forwards by grand increments in time, not just the moment of every moment, but the big round milestones which tell us for certain that time is passing and the world is definitely growing older.
Happy anniversary of another complete ride around the sun.
Of note this fall has been the discovery of the only chocolate chip cookie recipe we will ever need (and which does not even require the importation of American chocolate chips!), the harrowing political vicissitudes and occasional flaming-haybale local remonstrations of les Gilets Jaunes, a finer grade of annual wine fair at which we will be regulars from now on, and learning to make our own potato gnocci, here pictured with a sauce of nettle and borage.
We found a tree frog in an olive tree out front, I happened into more ripe persimmons than even I could eat at one time, and just this last weekend we lucked out at an heirloom fruit-tree sale at an agricultural heritage center in Puycelsi, where, despite an uncommonly early hour of rising and driving at top speed up into the hills before dawn, we were still a lackluster number 22 and 23 in line, respectively. We nevertheless managed to buy 13 grafted saplings which we hope one day will bear hardy antique apples, pears, peaches, and cherries, good for canning and pies and sharing with the neighbors.
Just waiting in line with other local orchard-aspirants that cold morning was a pleasure, and I do love a country where you make the check for your heirloom fruit trees payable to “Public Treasury.”
We also had a visit from a dear cousin who brought along his flying drone – more fun than I could ever have imagined, and I wonder now how we will ever travel again without one. We drove all over the area taking in the autumn colors.
His visit happily occasioned yet another tour of what I call “The Room” in Moissac – a 12-sided white stone 11th-century Romanesque recreation of the heavenly city of Revelation, and one of my favorite places of all time.
Perhaps not coincidentally, soon after the reunion in the cosmic Room of Endtimes, I saw my first real UFO out the bathroom window upstairs at home one night. The next day it was claimed by less imaginative infidels who WERE NOT THERE, mind you, to be either a comet or a brightly shining planet.
But that could only be true, say I, if planets and/or comets come in distinctly pyramidal form wearing glowing green hoolah-hoops and hover over the bay tree out back of our house for hours on end. Such was my sighting, and that is the story I am sticking to. I am nearly 50 and this is the first time I can claim to have actually seen a bona-fide alien spaceship, so I’m not going to waste it on rational explanations.
We have not yet had a true freeze, but we did see some icy dew just at the tips of some things on a 1c morning last week. It won’t be long now, and oh good, I could not resist putting 20 more eggs in the brooder far too late in the season – a grave error in judgment – and now we have a tribe of chirping little lives to shepherd through the winter, too. I won’t be doing that again.
At least now they are moved outside with a heat lamp and are not living inside with us anymore: Progress, not perfection, as they say. We do try to keep the standard above absolute farouche around here, if not always with complete success.