Autumn is right around the corner, and -- despite the 90 degree day that we are facing tomorrow --there is no more insistent a reminder of this turn of seasons than the scent of concord grapes. The arbor hangs thick with ripening fruit right by the door of the garage. I arrive home every evening to the heady scent of sun-baked grapes. The birds are getting a lot this year, and I am not sure I have it in me to make grape jam this season (especially since we never finished the jars from last year!). But the vines are worth it just for this sensory luxury of inhaling the scent of their fruit.
Concords can startle people with their scent, as for many their sheer grapey-ness conjures memories of Welch's juice and PBJ sandwiches and hard candies. There is no subtlety to the perfume of the concord -- it smacks you in the nose with its fruitiness. But I love the rich aromas that hit me as soon as I step out of the garage -- the ripening concords are a gentle salve to the wounds of a hard work day. We often find our son sitting below the small arbor, sniffing ardently as he maneuvers his trucks.
I arrived home today with a sense of relief -- my month of burdensome work hours is over and I can return to the normal pace of life. Leaving for the hospital before dawn, I have missed the quiet mornings in the garden with my son. The garden looks ragged and deflated, a horticultural reflection of my inner self right now. Fortunately both I and the garden will soon be renewed by late mornings and early afternoons spent outside, enjoying the fall weather.