nasturtium blooms

orange and yellow nasturtium

The balcony nasturtiums are blooming in shades of orange and yellow and producing their large, green, chickpea-like seed heads. For the record, I'm not ready for summer to end. I haven't even thawed out yet from last spring, though already the days are shorter and the nights colder again. (Seriously, people, the Northwest is not a climate in need of air conditioning. Why is the temperature cranked up to freezing in every building?)

Everywhere I look, grass is browning, plants are going to seed, ready to self-immolate, turning themselves over, hari-kari-like, into next year's generation. Soon I'll be taking my three red geraniums to work to winter by a sunny window. It makes me want to put on the brakes, dig in my heels, slow the seasonal train, and go camping (though I can't afford this month even the gas to get into the mountains or the site fees).

Yet still I've been tidying up my apartment, washing, ironing, and mending clothes, and making sure everything on my to-do list that I'd been putting off for weeks is now checked off and stored, me a squirrel packing her corners with nuts, prepping for winter. For over a month now, I've been itching to start knitting a new sweater every week and having to restrain myself because the two cardigans I've been working on sporadically for almost a year are still unfinished.

Despite all my pretensions to simple living, it's rare that I feel content in the moment, full of the present, full with what is, rather than perpetually peering around the next corner, planning ahead (along with a little worrying), wishing, hoping, wanting—neither fully ant nor grasshopper. If anything, I'm an ant who drags her feet, continually arresting herself mid-chore to look behind to see what she's missing.

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