Sweet potato basil.

It’s a jungle out there.


The paths, left untread, are paths no longer. 


But the basil basks in the shaded earth, cool toes wriggling in the damp.


And those who seek the warmth rise above.

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As was then, as it is again.

We were watching Iron Giant, for the 40th time. And I’d realized I hadn’t actually ever watched it. Not all of it, anyway. 
We’re at the end. The army is attacking the Iron Giant. He’s fighting back. “He’s bad, mama. The Iron Giant’s eyes turn red and he’s very bad.”

Me: Oh, honey. He’s not bad. He’s doing bad things right now, but he’s not bad. 

C: Why’s he doing bad things?

M: He’s programmed to do bad things when people try to hurt him. The Iron Giant’s programmed to fight back if people hurt him.

C: Why are they hurting him, mama?

M: They don’t understand him, honey. And sometimes, when people don’t understand things, they get scared. And sometimes when people get scared, they fight. 

C: I’m not scared.

M: I know, honey. You’re brave and strong and smart. And someday, when you don’t understand something, you will know you don’t need to be scared just because it’s different. You can ask questions or say hi or just watch. 

C: Why are they being so mean, mama? They’re scared?

M: Yes, love. They’re scared because they don’t understand. And they’re fighting because they are scared. But we don’t fight when we don’t understand or when we’re scared.

C: I’m not scared, mama. They don’t need to be scared or fight or not understand. They can say hi. 

M: I know, love, I know. 

A tomato slow down

And a pepper pick-me-up.

Almost on cue, the garden is packing it in for the summer. The tomato vines are drying up. Some fruit ripens on brown vines. Other fruit dehydrates where it hangs. 

With some help and a helper’s chipper, any soil exposed by the dying crops is now mulched by the gift of a fallen limb.

It may be a bit early, but I couldn’t help myself. I have the first of the fall crop transplants sown in plugs in the laundry room. 

The outdoor oven (aka the weather) has begun. Perhaps I’ll set aside some corn stalks for Halloween. They’re drying where they stand quite nicely.