Chardonnay grapes on the south side of the house, not enough for wine, bear scat at the foot of the vine, taste of sun on the tongue, of green gooseberries and unripe plums, dreaming of their origins in Gouais blanc from the Dalmatian coast, carried by the Romans to France, shaded here on their north shoulders by bougainvillea, a Desert Fire fig, rosemary in a blue Krinos tin, long canes of Félicité et Perpétue waiting in a celadon pot to be planted somewhere permanent, the grapes, cut from their vine, boiled to juice, flavoured with rosemary, sugar, jelly for winter’s toast.
Bring in the sheets, soft yellow (your favourites), bring in the towels, fold them, the scent of sunlight and early fall air (on the mountain trail the other day, you both noticed the change), bring in your bathing suit for this afternoon’s swim, pack it damp for a road trip tomorrow, when you will drive up Highway 5A, stopping at Nicola Lake to enter its cold familiar waters, stopping by the pine as you return to your towel, crushing its familiar needles in your hand.
Will there be time, will there be time to roast the purple tomatillos from the seed library, a few of them producing such abundance? Will there be time to add Anaheim peppers from the greenhouse, the zest of a lime, a shallot or two from the garden, for salsa verde? You have your suitcase to pack, gifts for the family you will visit over the mountains, if you make it that far. Maybe you will disappear into folds in the Nicola hills (the crushed Ponderosa pine needles your entrance), golden grass dry on your skin, the horses you have always loved gathering around you. Where have you been?