Chill out. Wear a sweater.
Each harvest day, I deep-clean the sinks at our washstand. I soap and soak 'em up real nice so the fresh-cut lettuce and other goodies get rinsed in a basin free of dirt and other assorted farm crumbs.
It was during this very chore last weekend that I was called upon to perform an emergency rescue mission.
The drainage bucket under the sinks was brimming with soapy runoff, forging a iridescent mountain of bubbles. Some poor something was frantic underneath, its skinny dark figure wriggling and flailing in attempt to breach the dome of suds. I could only vaguely make out its slender shape in the foam, and I hoped I wasn't about to find myself with a very clean young cottonmouth.Brushing aside some fluff, I found this little fella, looking weary and incredibly nervous...
I placed him on the sink's edge and there he stayed, drying out and catching his breath. He hung out for nearly 2 hours while I washed lettuce. He was good company.
And I must say, although we didn't experience a miraculous rescue from suffocation in a giant tub of suds, Alex and I are enjoying a similar feeling of catching our breath lately.
Before summer was here, we had thought (naively) it would be a slow time for us, due simply to the facts that heat would prevent us from working too hard in the middle of the day and we'd have less crops thriving in the high sun.
We were half-right, but we forgot about how long a summer day is. And how all the creatures under that sun are working twice as hard to survive.
More often than not we worked past 9pm trying to catch up with tasks impossible to accomplish during the day for fear of brain-boiling. I've recounted our dramas with summer pests on this blog several times, and those experiences were indeed part and parcel of a hectic season that was anything but low-key.
Thus, Autumn makes a very welcome entrance. She walks through the door the coolest kid at the party, slinking in at the perfect hour, to the most perfect song, with the best outfit and she's gonna teach us all how to play Spin the Bottle. Plus, she brought locally-sourced booze--but she also brought all-natural soda, because she's not into pressuring anybody.
The weather is cooler, the weeds grow slower, the days are shorter. Of course, there are still bugs to contend with and more-than-plenty to do at all hours, but we've got salad. A tangible shift has swept through the farm that whispers,
"Chill out. Have dinner at a reasonable hour. Wear a sweater."
So we're giving that a try.
But this is Texas, and by noon it's too hot for that sweater, even in Autumn--which is all the more reason to appreciate those brief, sweet moments of calm when we can.