Friday, September 03, 2021

Friday Ramble - Demeter At the Gate

A single burnished leaf from the oak in the front yard floats down and comes to rest in a pot of bronzey chrysanthemums on the threshold of the little blue house in the village. The deep scarlet in the center of the "mums" matches the vibrant color of the front door, a cheerful thing and very welcoming. Days are still very warm here for the most part, but nights are starting to cool down, and it won't be long until we have to carry the pot indoors every evening as darkness falls and the wind comes out of the river.

As the oak leaf makes itself comfortable among the flowers on the threshold, a long v-shaped skein of geese passes overhead. A scrap of waning moon floats high in the blue sky, above and slightly to the left of the joyously honking flock who are on their way out to farm fields to feed. They will return at sunset and spend the night on the river.

Lady Moon will be full again on Monday, September 20th, and I am counting the days until she is. Here comes another glorious Harvest Moon in all her auriferous splendor. A dear friend once enthusiastically described September's full moon as a "big ass yaller moon". Am I going to be out in the garden with camera and tripod that evening? You bet. Please mama, no clouds that night.

Closer to the earth, the swallows of summer are packing their flight bags and making ready to depart, their places on telephone wires to be taken by flutters of sparrows and constellations of noisy starlings who are putting on winter stars and flashy yellow beaks. The Monarch butterfly migration has begun, and I have not seen one in days. My garden seems a tad forlorn without them.

Frantic squirrels everywhere are filling their larders, and I have surrendered to the little blighters in the matter of geraniums - there does not seem to be much I can do to prevent the flowers from being unceremoniously tossed out of their pots and replaced with buried acorns, berries, crabapples and walnuts. For some reason, the squirrels leave our chrysanthemums alone. The scent perhaps?

Early Macintosh apples are starting to appear at farm markets, and several “Macs” rest flushed and rosy in a bowl on the kitchen counter.  We carried a lovely big brown paper bag of apples home from a local orchard a few days ago, along with the first cider of the season.  Most of the apples are destined for eating, but there will be applesauce and pies, perhaps a few jars of apple butter. Mugs of Yorkshire tea with pumpernickel toast and apple butter are in the cards.

When I awakened this morning a little before five and went outside, a thin crescent of waning moon was rising in the east, and the mighty hunter Orion strode the southern sky, club held high and sword belt twinkling. Fall is on its way for sure.

Above us, autumn stars twinkle in the darkness. Here on earth, apples, corn, pumpkins and hay are being gathered in. There is no doubt about it—Demeter is at the gate, and She is rattling its rusty latch with vigor. This is my favorite time of the year. Lady Harvest knows the ancient cantrip that grants her entrance to these smoky northern hills, and she knows the key in which it is to be sung.


Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks. As I woke up this morning, I could again see (suddenly it seems) the mountain ridge across the valley. That many leaves have fallen from my sheltering maples!

J.G. said...

I saw Orion before dawn the other morning, also, and said to him, "My, you're up late!" He'll soon be gracing the winter sky and it was lovely to see him.