Equinox comes later on this year’s calendar than most. Summer is long gone by other measures: cool nights, students back in school, more flowers faded than coming into bloom.
This summer I wrote less and gardened more than usual. It’s my third year to relish the perennials that came with the house and the wildflowers that arrive uninvited. No expert gardener, I often fail with new plantings. More successful is my “unnatural selection” approach: choose which hardy volunteers to encourage and pull the rest out of their way.
Like so much in gardening, it’s a good metaphor for the rest of life. I don’t need many new plantings; apart from wishing family lived closer and bodies worked better, I have pretty well all I need or want. The trick is to keep culling out the pieces that no longer fit, so the favorite elements of my days have space to grow and thrive.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.