The future, the past, and with any luck the present, too

Thanksgiving is shockingly soon. I think we can agree on that. Perhaps it snuck up on me this year because I’m not planning any travel, so there isn’t the same sort of anticipation: days are passing normally, which means they’re passing fast. There is plenty of news to preoccupy me, plenty of work. I just sent in my final evaluations for my first semester teaching at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and I am so proud of my students, so honored to have spent this time in close conversation with them. It’s hard to imagine that I will not continue getting letters from them, work from those particular hands, but that’s what time does: it passes. And with it, things change.

The temperatures here have been in the mid-80s for a couple of weeks, and so I’m delighted that it’s finally raining, and that it’s supposedly, finally, fall. I guess I’m more in tune with Arizona weather now (it only took…many years) because the weeks of mid-80s in November didn’t bother me as much as it usually does. I remember the first year Dave and I lived in Phoenix, walking around our neighborhood on Thanksgiving and thinking, “Wow, I guess late November/early December is when the trees start to change around here.” Now that seems normal to me.

My garden is continuing apace. The other night I went out with a headlamp and harvested salad greens. I have eaten several early pea pods. The galaxy of carrots where I spilled a packet of seeds is lush. Dave and I are both a little sick. Well: he’s a lot sick, and threw out his back, and I’m teetering on the edge of sick, but I have to do most of the chores, because he can’t bend over. People in my circle have been talking, lately, about whether one is a “gardener” in their relationship or a “flower” and I feel like we must always be both, mustn’t we?

I have also been listening to a lot of old Janis Joplin, and for some reason I keep hearing the words “My love is like a seed/Just needs ti(-i-)me to gro(-o-)w” as “My love is like the sea.” Even as I actively correct myself, my mind brings it back up. The same error, again and again. And perhaps this is because I like the idea of love being both like a seed and the sea; I like the idea of the sea being so enormous and still needing time to grow, and in that growth, being—if you have the patience for it—not just enormous, but infinite.