October 22, 2015
The last sun tea is on the porch. If there was any doubt last week, there is not this week, it is autumn. Cool morning temperatures and the leaves are changing color. Two trees are already bare—looking naked next to those full of leaf—and irrigation ditches are dry.
Fall speaks to the sun tea’s seasonableness. There is something fitting about how slow seeping tea over ice suits a summer afternoon. Much like how boiling water over a tea bag fits a winter evening. There is a sadness though, as I walk by the mason jar on a fall day and notice there is hardly enough sunlight-heat to change water’s color. A reminder the heavy warmth of sun that buries self into soil and ripens summer tomatoes is again a wait until spring reality.
There is a comfort in knowing the change the landscape is experiencing. Insight gifts a time of preparation before freezing makes the soil impossible to dig. However, there is also something about the naiveté that comes with having not yet lived a winter. Sage, a five-month-old, red, something or other dog, is now a farm companion. Neighbors who live next to a busy hop season road found a throw away litter of pups five months ago. A too busy road led to Sage coming to the farm to live out her life.
Fall is a furiousness time. Different from the constant movement of summer, fall has this is the last chance to get chores done before the first hard freeze or snow that covers that one item your looking for.
As I rebuilt the temporary winter fence that allows cattle and goats to graze the stockpiled hay field, Sage ran from one end to the other and back, repeatedly. While I spliced two ends of fencing wire, she ran back flopping down into the alfalfa. Not breathing heavy, like any self-respecting fifty-something would after a full out eighth mile run (well, okay, this guy ain’t running nothing full out…), she sat in the green of full afternoon fall sun acting as if this is the best day ever. Clearly, she has no concept of cold of winter lying just round the corner!
There is an upside to not knowing the winter that lies ahead. There is fun and wonderment that comes with experiencing the first crisp morning, ever, alongside the warm pleasure of the first fire coming to life after a morning of feeding and breaking water trough ice. However, right now, in the fall of the year, as green turns to red and yellow, in the full of the afternoon sun, sitting on the back bench listening to doves cooing in the trees and dog chewing a bone from last Sunday’s roast, there is pleasure sipping sun tea because one knows winter lies ahead