I don't know if you're feeling it where you live, but here in Vermont and other points Northeast, it's clear that summer is losing steam and fall is more than willing to pick up the slack. This morning over breakfast I tried to deny it was happening, deny that I'd seen brown or red leaves on the ground or noticed the quickly shortening days. The family consensus was that I had lived in Vermont too long to act so silly.
I suppose then that it's time to pull my head out of the sand and prep for fall: That means putting away the tools that have been left in the field waiting for the completion of some now-forgotten task, gathering up the last of the tomatoes to can into sauce and paste, harvesting potatoes to cure now that the basement is cool enough and stacking wood that should have been in neat rows out on the deck three months ago.
Not to be forgotten, in this lull between summer and winter, are tidying and straightening, considering and remembering, readying and mending; in other words, the perfect time to cozy up with a cup of tea and take in the latest issue of Taproot Magazine: ISSUE 11::MEND.
Since, if you're a subscriber it's on the way, and if you're not, you'll need to subscribe to receive a copy, let's take a moment and look inside.
Regular contributor Schirin Oeding starts off MEND with a thoughtful piece challenging us to work to mend the Earth, even in spite of the possibilities for doubt and cynicism that could leave us stymied. As she says in the close of her piece, "Start where you are. Don’t wait. "
Next comes a lively piece of reportage from Julia Shipley (composed in her effervescent style) about poet W.S. Merwin's efforts to plant a tree a day for almost forty years, returning a former pineapple plantation to a grove of native trees in Hawaii. Rounding out the Head section are essays on reconsidering our relationship to clothing, learning from failure and the value of meditation.
As ever, the Hands section of this issue is filled with great ideas for things to make and do, so with the theme of MEND, we'd be remiss if there wasn't a tutorial on clothes-patching. We've one from new contributor Em Falconbridge who exchanges the humdrum with clever ideas for making extraordinarily pleasing patches.
I know some knitters who don't mind wool draping over their legs during the hot summer months (I'm looking at you, Amanda), but I for one can't do it. That's why I'm excited about the prospect of getting my needles out and warmed up to take on this charming Barn Sweater pattern from Carrie Bostick Hoge.
Erin Benzakein returns to Taproot with a terrific and timely piece that will inspire you to plan (and plant) so you can harvest beautiful bouquets in the spring. She makes it seem easy and the glorious photos are so inspiring, you'll want to find a spot where you can poke at least a few bulbs into the soil.
Also returning is Steve Soule with an essay in the Heart section accompanied by a lovely piece of art by Jenn Judd-McGee. Documenting his difficulties with the social attitudes and life-struggles of the Ingalls family while reading the Little House books to his children, he is able to recognize and appreciate the progress we as a culture have made. (Though recent events clearly underscore that we have not come far enough!)
Speaking of Phoebe Wahl, don't miss out on an opportunity to meet her if you're in the neighborhood of the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine September 19-21. As we have the last couple of years, we'll have a booth in the Media area. Please come by and say hello!
One other small point of interest before I sign off is to let you know that we want to hear from you more. Starting with ISSUE 12::BREAD, writers of Letters to the Editor whose missives (or short notes) are published will receive a free one year subscription or subscription extension.