Late August is always a meaningful time of year for me. It signifies so many things, and this year, it signifies even more.
In terms of my natural surroundings, August is a crickety time, a crunchy time, a very yellow and purple time. The fruit trees are laden, gardens are full, the corn is tall, many plants are winding down and becoming withered and tired. I love the "feel" of this time of year. The light is different.
Yellow and Purple.
Yes, I'm seeing it, too. I need to plan my gardens better. What else is blooming right now that could provide a much needed change in colour? I do have some creamy whites with my hydrangeas. I can tell what time of year it is from this particular hydrangea (thinking it might be called something like Pink Diamond??).
The blooms start out white, but when they become pink, as they are just beginning to now, you know that summer is coming to a close. Soon they will be all a beautiful rusty pink colour.
My sad, sad, very sad vegetable garden would normally be producing scads of green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and still lettuce at this stage. I am harvesting minimal amounts of beans, zucchini, and cucumbers. The lettuce just doesn't get eaten in any great quantity, so the chickens get to enjoy the stalks that are beginning to go to seed.
They rushed to the fence in hopes that I had something to feed them when I was taking pictures this morning. I didn't. I think I heard one of them swear as I walked away.
But there is hope. A tiny, little, pathetic bit of hope...
Do you see it, in all its cracked glory, amongst the blighty leaves? Toasted tomato sandwich, here we come!! (Another late August thing).
Shall we compare my struggling little tomato to this hearty beast? This is a plant that gets a bad rap - it's goldenrod. Another yellow of late August, it gets blamed for seasonal allergies. The real culprit is ragweed which is prevalent right now, but isn't as showy, so it hides in the background causing people to pop allergy meds. like tictacs. I think goldenrod is quite pretty, and lord knows, it grows well with no help from me at all.
The new beginnings part of my post title? Well that refers to a couple of things. Of course, for me, it's the approach of a new school year. Most people's years go from January to December. Mine go from September to June, with bonus months in between. This will be my second last new school year ever. It is odd to think that. It will be even more significant when it is my LAST start to a school year, but this is my last full year. I will only teach from September to January in my final year. That is when I can retire with full pension. So, this is my last time to have a class from start to finish. When you've been doing something for 29 years, and it's your last time at it, it makes me ponder, reflect, consider...
Another new beginning for myself and husband is the advent of being empty nesters, at least for most of the time. This September we launch both kids away to post secondary education. Now, this is old hat for us when it comes to our daughter. She's been away to university for a while now, coming home for the summer to work. However, this is the first time for our son, moving away to college in a town about three hours away. I must admit, I've been struggling a bit with this. Not to be interpreted that I care more about saying goodbye to one child more than the other, but now it means they are both gone. No more waiting to hear his car pull up after his shift at his part time job is done. No more preparing supper for four (or sometimes five or six depending on who's coming). No more knocking on bedroom doors to make sure someone is definitely awake in the morning. No more piles of shoes in the mudroom, or three different bottles of shampoo in the bathtub, or buying Nutella because son likes it, or sriracha chili sauce because daughter likes it. The house will feel so very empty. And oh my god... it's going to be just husband and I. Let that one sink in for a moment.