On the Cusp

The raucousness of Vermont summer simmers down in September. The songbirds are long finished with their mating season, and our main company these days is the constant sizzle of crickets.

As if she sensed the quietness, too, my 11-year-old and I played cribbage after school, drinking lemonade with the kitchen windows wide open and eating tomatoes. My kid’s favorite snack these days are tomatoes, juicily ripe, still warm from the vine. Before bed tonight, she stood on the balcony, the curve of moon hidden in an apple tree.

Summer’s nearly shot all its splendor out. What’s growing in the garden has hit its threshold, except for some greens and the squash still fattening under the cover of its vines.

It’s a poignant time in many ways, with the days shortening rapidly, but the afternoons steamy enough to swim. I always consider September full of many things: back to schoolbooks but still digging in the dirt, the tempo winding down, the wild beauty of autumn’s song just around the bend.

Dry cheerful cricket
chirping, keeps
the autumn gay…
Contemptuous of frost

– Bashō


Craftsbury Common, Vermont


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