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you have to die.

friday nights used to mean going out.

now they look like harvesting pole beans under a rising day-old full moon.

and there's no place i'd rather be, than in this darkened garden, preparing for frost to come again. it is going to be cold tonight, i can already feel it in my toes, my nose.

i stayed on the screen too long. didn't look up until the sun had left and the windows were black squares. i still had to venture out. to tuck the goats in. to close the chickens. to save the basil.

the tomatos are long gone - though a few linger on the windowsill, their green gradient turning sunlight into food.

i refuse to give up on the basil, even though it is october. even though i waited so long for the tomatos to ripen when the basil was already lush and ready. so i cover them with blankets and garbage bags - more optimism than i show in the rest of my life.

and then i harvest beans. not for eating. we had our handfuls of beans right off the vine. marlowe grabbing "i pick, i pick." jordi exclaiming when a vine broke off "well, he had a good life, didn't he mom?"

but now is the time for seeds. for the cycle to continue.

there are so many endless life lessons in the garden. some of them feel too cliche to capture. and yet...

things really do have to die in order to give new life.

fresh beans are good for eating. they nourish and provide. but, fresh beans don't make more beans. no, those ones have to be dried.

so you leave the bulgy, oversized beans on the vine. only picking the slender, tender pods... the rest are left to dry out in the sun, as vines wither and the garden fades... they prepare to go to sleep inside a papery cocoon. those dried beans contain all the dna, all they need to grow into a fresh green vine next year.

until then, they rest.

and as i gather in the dark, the kittens think i'm prey. or playing. they bounce and wrestle and bump into my feet through the shadows.

the moon was so large on the back horizon, already shifted from yesterday's view. i gasped - she was so bright and yellow, half hidden by the forest. soon mostly covered by the clouds but so bright as to form a patchwork sky.

there is no where else i want to be.

than home alone. on a friday eve.

closing the coop. leggings burr-coated. heel covered in fresh chicken shit. eyes wide. cats by my side. coyotes loud and distant. hands full of fresh-picked parsley.

i come back inside. reluctantly.

to wash my feet. to eat roasted garden-beets. to rhyme and write and sleep.

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