I’m starting to think that one of the best reasons to grow an artichoke is to be able to watch it flower. Everything is flowering right now in such a lazy and fantastic way, but I think I might like the artichoke the best.
Something happens to me every August- I’m not sure why. When the air switches from hot and humid to dry and breezy- is that happening where you are? The air gets sharp, and then, just like that, I start to think about all of the Augusts that have come before this one. I start to space out, and to smell pinon from the coming fall in Santa Fe, or the certain smell of dying leaves that I remember from a walk 3 or 7 or 11 years ago. All of the schools I’ve ever gone back to at the end of the summer, all the trips across the state or the country to get there, and all of those nights that are the first night in months that I’ve worn a sweater.
Every year, this feeling comes over me, and I get a little bit sullen in a way that doesn’t bother me so much, and I start to miss everything. I can close my eyes as I’m walking through the yard, and I’m ten years younger, and everything feels just the a tiny bit more dangerous in that delicious way. I listen to more dramatic music, and I listen to it loudly, and I enact little music videos in my head where I run fast on the side of the road. These subtleties all exist concurrently with the August at present, with the packing of lunches for camp, the quiet of the garden after the girls’ bedtime, and I can almost feel the Augusts that haven’t even happened yet.
I never remember that I am here ever year, and that it always feels the same. It was only this past week when I started to soften my focus a little, and I caught myself walking through the yard feeling like me, only different. I thought for a moment, and I wondered why I would be me and not me today.
And then of course, it’s August. And all of the Augusts always come at once.