Fall on the Rooftop

The other day I arrived at work on the rooftop farm only to be struck with how quietly fall had settled in.  It has wound its way through the plots that only two weeks before were teeming with crops, and settled into the eaves of the shed where stacks of peppers await delivery to nearby restaurants.  We have had an incredibly gentle October here in the New York; the sun has been abundant and the nights mild.  Now, though, there is a sense of finality as we approach November.  Last night, the cold nipped at me as I walked home from Elena’s place.  I may need to wear a scarf soon.

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I feel often that working on a farm in the middle of Brooklyn is a special blessing.  There is something rebellious about raising crops among the asphalt, and I go to work each day uniquely aware that I am a part of a movement that is both bigger than me and which will rely on me for its continuance once I graduate.

But more than that, I have become acutely in touch with the seasons in the city this year.  I can recall standing on the roof in the middle of March as my eyes watered in the below freezing wind, the plots mostly barren except for several warrior-like crops which thrive in frost.  This memory which bounces up against sweltering July mornings where I could not breathe without sweating, and when I stood in front of a tour group, the roof spread out in front of me like a sea of green pricked in some spots with the burnished yellows and reds of ripening peppers.  Now, in my chunky cable knit sweater, I see a roof ready for an overwinter slumber.

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There is finality in it, and yet also finality’s opposite.  Soon enough I will be back on that rooftop helping to till soil for the first exuberant crop of radishes.  But for now, as October draws to a close, I’ll revel in the abundance of the present, and then say goodnight.

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