Fall has descended seemingly all at once. The air is cold and thick with early rains, the trees are drawing straws to see who will change color first, and the nuthatches have eaten half a feeder of seed in the last three days. But the last of the tomatoes are still clinging to the vine, and managing to ripen, without the aid of sun or extra watering. I have not abandoned them, just left them to their their task. I enjoy the fortitude of the late tomato, the pressing forward of goals, desires, and obligations. The fall is the time for the completion of tasks, a period of preparation for coming hardships. In fall, we have to face the put-off things of life or surely suffer consequences in the dark days of winter. And so I strive to be an end of season tomato, focused, sure, and proceeding, making one last stand in my pot with what is left of my resources.