Between the return of the marine layer and the sight of Halloween candy in the supermarket, the first inkling of fall was in the air last night. Here in Southern California, it's a bit of a false inkling as we almost always have a heat wave in the fall. But in the community garden, with the big stars of the summer -- the tomatoes, the cucumbers and the zucchini (yes, the zucchini is still producing; at last count I had harvested 32 from that one little seedling) -- starting to wane, it does feel like time to start thinking about the transition to fall.
I feel like I'm coming at my garden from a new place as the seasons change. One thing that helped immeasurably was my attendance at an organic gardening workshop at Esalen the first week of August. One of the big takeaways was the realization of how much I had needed the disconnect that came from spending five days in a gorgeous setting ( photos above and below) away from the technology that has a tendency to overwhelm my daily life (cell phones don't work at Esalen and the wireless in the lodge is turned off at meal time). I mentioned this at one point and one of my fellow participants -- a lovely woman who has a farm outside Bogota, Colombia -- asked if I thought I would be able to keep the technology from overwhelming me again when I returned home.
The answer was -- and is -- that I'm going to try. And my garden is a big part of that. Before I left on the trip, my garden had become one of the many entries on my to-do list and I would run by for 15 or 20 minutes to water, harvest and do any necessary trimming before rushing off to do something else. Since the workshop, I've been getting up early at least twice a week so that I can go and spend a good quality hour in the garden, a good hour of quiet time away from technology when I can just BE in the garden. After just a few weeks of this ritual, I can already feel a change in both my garden and myself.