Seasons change. I am ready to embrace autumn.
I live in the southwestern United States. I am ready for lessened intensity. I want to experience the gentle warmth of the season and the lengthened slant of light that provides respite from intensity. Leaves even turn to the traditional colors northerners expect if you visit higher altitudes, and sky islands, of the Southwestern mountains.
I want far fewer bodies to be found in the desert that makes up most of my county. I am fearful that more young people, more women, and even children will be found dead of thirst or exposure in the desert. This is a form of structural violence that has been exacerbated through the turning away of people seeking asylum at the border.
As I started this post it was 102 degrees Fahrenheit. That was in the days just before the Autumnal Equinox. The 100 degree temps may be gone as I write this. It is October 1st, a disintegrating not-quite-hurricane, Storm Rosa, is brushing her outer edges against Tucson. It will be rainy today and tomorrow, and still rainy on the coast when I travel to San Francisco via LA on Wednesday. Late Wednesday through Sunday when I am visiting a dear friend in San Mateo, attending a conference on the Future of the Internet, and then heading up to spend the weekend with my daughter in Sacramento will be clear and lovely!
The Harvest Moon is waning and I think Fall is finally here in the Southwest. The Hunter’s Moon, on October 24th this year, is the full moon that is traditionally the time when fatted animals are slaughtered and their meat preserved for the coming winter.
When I return to Tucson we will begin selecting vegetables for the Winter Garden. The Fall Plant Sale at Native Seeds/SEARCH is on the weekend of the 19th-21st.
I enjoy thinking about the pre-industrial and pre-urban traditions still reflected in our language. It keeps me rooted to a tradition of which my parents were probably some of the last mixed-crop, self-sufficient farmers in a long consecutive stream of farmers, peasants, hunting and horticultural families over the last millennium. Mom would have been 104, and Dad been 103, this month.
30 years ago, come tomorrow, I got off a train “just to visit” Tucson. Before the end of that Fall and Winter, I had moved here. I married in the coming Summer and the next year I had my daughter. So many Autumns in between then and now.
This Autumn Joni Mitchell turns 75. I was a kid when her songs first spun my brain around. She taught me that songs and poems are very, very similar.
This month I plan to write a lot. But we know about the best laid plans don’t we?
Some of the topics on my list of topics for October and Autumn. How about you?
- Memories of Seasons “Turning”
- Women coming together in Black
- Witches & Witch Hunts
- Autumn of Life is a Misnomer
- The Witch, the Crone, and the Midwife
- Preparing for Winter
- Last of the Garden vs. a Winter Garden
- My Parents at My Age
- And I will be republishing a few favorite older pieces from other Octobers.