Happiness by the Handful

My world still can’t make up its mind.

On one hand, the dogwoods have already turned that dull crimson that means fall. There are already acorns, polished round worry beads Elder Girleen  stoops for and fills her pockets with in the mornings.

But on the other, the zinnas, spotted with powdery mildew, persevere.  And at long last — after squirrels, after hornworms — we have double-handfuls to harvest.  Of tomatoes, of figs.


The fall crop radishes are sprouting.

The figs are Celestes, the same variety folks once called sugar figs and carried with them as they migrated from hereabouts toward Texas.  Now, I raise the windows in our breakfast room and lean out to pluck the ones that hang from the topmost branches.