I cut this last melon from the vine yesterday. I could tell it was ripe because the tendril closest to the fruit had browned, and the fragile rind was so tight that if I thumped it too hard it would break. After brushing off the dirt, I tucked it under my right arm, left the fenced off garden, and fended off a very curious dog as I carried it to the house. So heavy, like a small child, but without any arms to cling back to me. I thought about how difficult it would be to a farm worker, carrying the large fruit one at a time to a harvest trailer, how much strength and endurance it would take.
The seeds are tan with dark, charcoal-colored shoulders and edges; they're buckskin seeds.
Though last school year was so tough it made me question my career choice, this year has begun so well. My students are kind and funny people, people I want to see each day, and that makes every day better. They've been good days, but long and busy—I'm behind on every other part of my life.
Today, when I should have been grading, I tried to catch up in my garden. I planted the garlic into the big bed I had prepped for it last week. In another bed, before I amended the soil with composted manure, blood-and bonemeal, then planted it full of brassicas, I pulled all the old squash and melon vines. It had been a bad year for squash, but it had been a very, very good year for melons.