Monday, September 21, 2009

Salad Days

I'm always a bit torn during late summer. My mind knows that my plants are done growing, and that they are spending their last bits of strength to produce fruit, filled with seeds that are their next generation. I've nurtured them for months, so as I garden, the prevailing feeling is bittersweet.

My family, however, has no sympathy for my garden's last days. All they care about is our table full of freshly-picked vegetables. My daughter greedily gobbles a handful of tiny yellow cherry tomatoes. My husband will eat as many red peppers as I can pick. My sons barely let me wash the dirt from our garden carrots before crunching them like little vegetable-eating monsters.

And then there is me. I am overcome by the heaping bowls of colorful salad -- by the herbs, pungent and plentiful. I put out of my mind thoughts of my withering plants, their leaves turning to yellow and brown from the chill of autumn. My eyes drink in the green and red and orange of fresh produce. I think of the purple eggplants still to come, and the pumpkins and squash almost ready to come out of our neighbor's garden.

Hard to admit, but my mouth starts to water. And just as an apt garden eulogy comes to mind, I hear my own voice utter, as if from a distance, "Please...

"...pass the dressing."

- Midwest Mom


  1. Ahhh... autumn is knocking on our door, if we like it or not.

  2. Indeed. I'm spending a lot of time in my garden before I start mourning it's loss to frost!


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