On posting the wrong week's Torah poem
Fall semester (more or less) underway

That time of year

It's that time of year: when the meadow in our backyard is rife with bright yellow goldenrod, when the little farm down the road is advertising both late corn and early apples, when we spend long hours in the kitchen blanching and pulping tomatoes we've picked off of withered end-of-season vines.

I said a shehecheyanu over my first fresh local apple of the year today. It's a Mac (I love early Macs), red shading into green in the palm of my hand. Sweet and tart and amazing; it tastes like autumn, like the new year's almost here. As, of course, it is.

It was a good weekend for practical work, assiyah work. Picking tomatoes, and making a homemade ragĂș to freeze for a snowy day. Putting up half a dozen jars of fermented cucumber pickles. Applying a first coat of sticky dark primer to the long frames of the sloping glass windows of our dining room.

And after Ethan assembled two big bookcases, I sorted armloads of books that had been piled on the floor of my study. Now they're shelved: poetry over here, rabbinic texts over there. The new level of organization gives me an almost physical sense of relief. Physical clutter in my workspace feels to me like a manifestation of mental and emotional clutter. Who knows what might be possible now that I've cleared the decks?

Who knows what might be possible: that's the question of the season. Beginning the school year, getting ready for the Days of Awe, savoring the first cool evenings of September. It feels like something miraculous is just over the horizon, almost upon us, almost here.

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