Sorry, dear readers, for the silence. I haven’t forgotten you. It’s just that my creative energy has been flowing in other directions. About two weeks ago, it hit me. You know. That moment that comes every year when you are hit by a wave and suddenly and indelibly feel deep within you that summer will – yes – come to an end. That the warmth will ebb, the chill will flow. This year, happily, I felt a certain glee at this thought. Migratory birds must feel this way when they prepare to fly south for the winter, though since I don’t have feathers and can’t fly I reacted a bit differently. My survival strategy is to cover myself in overlapping layers of wool. This led to my casting on to knit a sweater with some dreamy soft alpaca yarn languishing in my yarn stash.
One thing led to another; some Portuguese wool picked up on my summer journey (yes, yes, which I have yet to blog about) hopped onto a pair of needles and suddenly there was half of another cardigan. A physiologist might describe these actions as those of an organism striving towards homeostasis.
This is the harvest time, the time of plenty. Plenty of ideas, plenty of things to do, plenty of herbs to dry, plenty of vegetables to gather, plenty of fruit lazing about on the kitchen counter, waiting to be turned into jam or Zwetschkenröster.
Liza Dalby wrote a beautiful book entitled East Wind Melts the Ice: A Guide to Serenity through the Seasons in which she compares her encounters with nature over the course of one year with sayings in an ancient Chinese almanac that divides the year into 72 units. The unit we are currently passing through (August 26-30) is identified as the time when “Heaven and Earth turn strict.” As I write these lines, I am enjoying the little bit of sunshine that is attempting to push through the rainclouds that descended upon us three days ago. The odds are very much in favor of the persistence of the grey gloom. This morning the floor had a chill to repel bare feet and necessitate thick socks and hot tea. I think I’ll trust my instincts and keep knitting.