The raccoons ravaged the corn and stomped the tomatoes. Purslane and wood sorrel have taken over the gravel walkways. I don’t believe in grassy yards (at least not in the woods, and not many other places either). I live in the woods so we have banks of New York ferns, rhododendrons, mountain laurel, winter berry, witch hazel and a tiny little vegetable and cutting garden which we share with the local rodents.

It’s the last day of August. The light is dimming, the days are shorter, the evenings are cooler, and sometimes I have to close the windows. That ticks me off. I’m not ready for this. I never am. And as if to add insult to injury, the geese are starting to complain.

So I got out my collapsible weed bag on Friday and Saturday and started around the perimeter of the house pulling up weeds, clearing the paths, pulling up the ruined corn and tomatoes. (Tomatoes in pots next year – we’ll see how that works. It’s worked before.) The phlox seems cheery enough. The marigolds are indefatigable. The geraniums are lush and valiant. I am, however, Augusted.

Things will continue to deteriorate until November when, finally so tired of it all, the leaves give up and let go. However, then light returns a bit, at least in the kitchen, and we start holiday planning. But until then there is this lingering despair, this Augusted – ness, which haunts the soul. It’s the end of the growing season, such as it was. The return of the yellow school buses. The flight of geese. The chill. The closing of the windows. The sense of decline.