The last taste of summer

Among the things I brought home from the farmers market today was a dozen ears of Peaches and Cream sweet corn. The farmer sacking the ears warned me that this would be the last of the season. His words were a reminder to me that the market, like the corn, would also soon be gone. October is, after all, a time for gathering in whatever is left in gardens, fields, vineyards and firmly closing the door on summer. The hours of September often flirt with the heat and humidity left over from July and August. But by October, the endless lemon-yellow days of summer have been replaced by cool evenings and dry leaves that dart beneath your feet. October is the time for butternut squash, crisp red apples, warty gourds, plaid jackets and pumpkins faced with the prospect of becoming pies or jack-o-lanterns. As I prepare the sweet corn for dinner, I linger. Melted butter runs in tiny rivers between the rows of steaming kernels. It pools like shimmering sunshine beneath the corn on the plate. Slowly I lift the ear, and taste the last fragment of summer.