Even with the beautiful colors and moderate temperatures (and no mosquitoes), fall has always been difficult for me because of some significant “leavings.” In 2012, my dad died during the fall. This year, fall – more particularly September -- was marked by two goodbyes – my Garden Elf and the Riverman.
Garden Elf got busy with school and his focus shifted from doing yard work to doing school work. His work was less careful at the end of the summer than it was at the beginning of the summer and I ended up having to weed/re-weed or re-do the work I’d hired him to do. So, that just wasn’t as helpful as it once had been. I’m grateful to him for the “good months,” where we built the deck, ripped out the old retaining wall and installed a new one and edged a couple of the boulevard gardens. I think the gardens are at a place now where I can do what’s left on my own.
The second goodbye was more difficult. After three years together, the Riverman decided that he needed to be on his own rather than be part of a couple. He had been on his own most of his life, and I knew when we began that our time together was both precious and limited. I have happy memories of music, travel, and gardening. I did need to find a new home for the blueberries, however. It was too vivid a reminder to keep them. His niece took a few and a friend took the rest.
As I was preparing the gardens for winter – and composting the leaves and flower trimmings – I thought the image of composting fit well for these two goodbyes, too. These two once fruitful relationships are now spent and need to be composted so at some point in the future they can turn into something new and beautiful.