We planted so much basil. Maybe the most we’ve ever planted, and we still have pesto leftover from last year (and, actually, from the year before that, too). So I shouldn’t have been so sad.
When we were in Seattle, we paid someone to drive by our house and check on our basil to make sure that it didn’t get hit by frost. We had sheets ready to drape them. When we came home, our basil was still alive, though many of the leaves had dropped. There was a green carpet underneath the thinned, still-green basil plants.
Then my family came to town for four days. There was a lot of activity and much to do and no time to think about the basil, and on the last night it frosted. We woke to gray basil leaves at the edges of the basil patch, but the inside leaves were still okay.
We were too exhausted that day to pick leaves. We dropped by sister off at the airport in the afternoon, then I went home and slept for three hours. We checked the weather that night and saw that it wouldn’t frost again. I slept for nine hours that night.
But the next morning the leaves looked worse. Every one had gray spots.
We harvested anyway, last night, half-heartedly, after more hours of self-imposed bed rest.
We didn’t have to pick for long.
I know it’s a lot about the hormones, but the sort-of harvest made me too sad. After our beautiful summer, after all our tending, all the songs inside the smell of our basil. After a week of adventure and a perfect weekend with my family, we were just a little bit too late to save it. I can’t stand loss right now. It makes me too afraid for other losses.