Life here is as season-specific as the border of a Tasha Tudor drawing. These days we are awash in the wild blackberries known locally as black caps; the old pastures are full of goldenrod in full bloom; and asters are flowering everywhere, in every shade between white and dark purple. There is a white kind that grows in the shade of the hedgerow along the driveway, and the really stunning big purple ones that appear by the ones or twos in lucky ditches around the county. To my mind there is no garden in the world more beautiful than a disused Pennsylvania pasture in September.
The trees are unusually lush still, thanks to the endless rains of this summer, but the light has turned to the sheer gold of autumn. John mowed some access trails to the blackberry islands so we don’t have to wade through chest-deep goldenrod to get the berries; the children picked enough for a pie one day before school began. It’s getting to where I remember when things happened by what we were eating at the time: long after I am unable to retrieve my children’s birth dates from the archives, I will still remember eating peaches while I nursed my daughter the day after she was born, and the sight of my son, just before he learned to run, bear-walking on 3 limbs down the rows at a u-pick raspberry patch, the other hand busily stuffing his mouth with the squishy red fruits.