Living on a farm keeps us attuned to the continuous ebb and flow of life. Our sheep, the multitude of birds, and the wild rabbits remind us year-round of the cycle of life. In the garden, seeds sprout, plants grow, bear fruit and wither.
Today, a solar eclipse served as a reminder that we are continuously moving through space. The planets and their moons are all on their own orbital paths; something much bigger than us and our little world. The waxing and waning of the moon causes the ebb and flow of the tides – all part of the cycles in which we live. Some nights, the crashing of waves on the beach below tell us of a surging tide. Some mornings, we awake to the salty tang of low tide and the barking of sea lions on the beach.
As summer slowly ebbs toward fall, we see both surges of growth and the beginning of decline in the garden. The blueberry and blackberry bushes are brimming with fruit. The alpine strawberries, after taking a break at the peak of summer heat, are again producing berries. The artichokes are rushing through the end of the season with buds quickly fattening up and new growth pushing up around the base of the parent plants. The lettuce is done – gone to seed. The Japanese maples are starting to subtly shift colour and the summer annuals are starting to look a bit bedraggled.
The end-of-summer cleanup has begun. Deadheading, weeding, and cutting back the rambunctious growth of the salmonberry plants keeps me busy. Chopping wood for the winter to come and finishing projects best done in sunshine also occupy our time. In a couple of months or less, the rain will begin. After a record-breaking drought this year, the rain will be most welcome and the creek will begin its crescendo until it is once again a steady roar in the background.
The ebb and flow is predictable and comforting. Amid all the political and social turmoil it is a reminder that some things are reliable and unchanged. The moon eclipsed the sun, and then the sun shone again. Enjoy the ebb and flow and the lessons it brings. Wishing you a lovely end of summer.