The Last Bouquet

Packer family pumpkin patch.

Dry, pumpkin colored fall: the season to gather apples and grapes. Geese congregate before their flight south. Squirrels store food for winter. The whimsy of Halloween collides with bittersweet autumn

I lean into the tenderness of its melancholy contradictions. If we celebrate the harvest, then we must also accept the reckoning. Autumn cushions the fall from surplus to surrender. Bounty precedes a time of wanting. Prepare or beware.


The last bouquet.

I walk the waterfront. I leave the path to explore a sandbar. It’s deserted. I tread the pebbled shore. Barges navigate the Columbia’s deep channel. Resting gulls eye me warily. 

Back home, I repair a screen on a rain gutter. There’s weather on the way. In my garden, I pick the year’s last bouquet. I’d sown the seeds months ago. Flowers blossomed. Bees visited. I reaped the multi-colored bounty. Now, I trim the plants down to nubs. I rake the debris. I till the soil. I rake again. It’s ready for a winter of rest.


Ukrainian colors in a field of wheat.
(Google Image)

The tragedy of Ukraine lumbers along. The United Nations condemns Russia’s unprovoked war. They declare its annexations illegal. But, the death and destruction continue. Tales of torture abound along with rumors of forced deportations. Soon, winter will arrive as an additional weapon in Putin’s arsenal. More effective, more cruel, perhaps, than the bluff of his nuclear threats.

At night, I retreat from the madness and beauty. My peaceful moment in the sun winds down. I bounce through the pot holes of troubled sleep. I awaken groggy. The morning’s tranquility and the solitude refresh me. Another day unfolds. Finally, the rain returns.

A song, Bad Weather.

11 thoughts on “The Last Bouquet

  1. You are such a beautiful writer, my dear friend. I have to pause, reread, let the images sink in and take shape. Then just savor it for a minute, seeing the world along with you, for just a minute. 💐🍁💕


  2. I, too, love the short sentences. This really reads like poetry. Your words soothed me and gave me a sense of peace.


  3. Beautiful writing, John. Your feelings on autumn and life (especially the Ukraine situation) are similar in many ways. Autumn the time of year when we reflect on the year, and those beautiful pieces of every day help us find peace as we begin to move into winter. I think we understand the cold months ahead, so those sunsets mean a bit more at the end of the day. Will check out your song and YouTube when I’m back in the States… The firewall here restricts most social media sites of the West (although I have to say, I am surprised to find WordPress operational as in the past it has not been accessible). Take care and enjoy the holiday season.


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