In the Garden with Patrick Rothfuss

garden vegetables photo by Joseph D'Agnese

I don’t know what it is with me, books, and gardening. When I’m out working in the yard, I make connections between the task at hand (raking, mowing, planting, etc.) and scenes in, anecdotes from, and authors of various books I’ve read over the years.

This past weekend, I was harvesting the last couple of things from the yard for the season (above), then set about yanking up some weeds that had covered at least part of the beds.

The Name of the Wind

I was amazed how easily the weeds were coming up by hand. And immediately, a scene from The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss, popped into my head. In the scene, the weary wizard Kvothe (pronounced “quoth”) is masquerading as a humble innkeeper named Kote. When he asks a neighbor to borrow a pair of leather gloves, the man wonders why he needs him. Kote instantly “remembers” something his grandfather once told him. I had to look up the passage later, but here it is:

Kote shrugged. “My granda always told me that fall’s the time to root up something you don’t want coming back to trouble you.” Kote mimicked the quaver of an old man’s voice. “ ‘Things are too full of life in the spring months. In the summer, they’re too strong and won’t let go. Autumn . . . ’ ” He looked around at the changing leaves on the trees. “ ‘Autumn’s the time. In autumn everything is tired and ready to die.’ ”

It’s a great passage and certainly one to take to heart when the leaves are falling like crazy. Of course, there is some chicanery in this scene. Kote needs the gloves for another reason entirely. Just what he intends to do with them, I’ll leave you to discover in the pages of this great fantasy novel and its sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear.

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