Category Archives: garden

the rain

grapesFinally, the rains come. I have lost two small fig trees and plenty of periwinkles in this drought. I am inside now – cozy with the rain at the window and the tiny sounds the coffee maker is making. I love this day of healing. I have gotten to a point where rainy days are my friend. Days of long ago, when children were small and needed direction, were difficult in this rain. Old and forgotten toys were brought down from the attic, tent houses were made over the harvest table, cookies baked and spoons were licked as deep breaths were taken (by me). Funny, but in writing these words, I find joy in those magical days of childhood that time has tempered. Anyway, fast forward and here I am in the same old house with a rainy summer day stretched out ahead that belongs to ME! I hope to paint and clean up a room. Yes, a room, not the whole house – my goals are very relaxed these days that I approach 60 – really, who cares?

I think about things and people on these kind of days and feel it is Nature’s ticket to go back and reflect – to slow down to remember and sort. The trees and plants are heavy with moisture and green from the nitrogen; they are happy and so am I. I am rereading The Invisible Garden, my cousin, Glenda’s favorite book, and my head swells with images of Concord grapevines, Ayers Pears and poles of legumes…the biggest garden ever. I strive for this outdoor pantry and hope I can physically do it when I have more TIME. I do despise excuses and I just made one…the TIME is now.

IMG_0240Anyway, I am headed to one lucky room today – the room that gets a scrubbing and when I am finished, I will insist on feeling satisfaction – no more lofty goals for me except to plant that pantry…

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Saturday morning

I woke up at 5 this morning – on purpose because it is Saturday, a day I could wake up  “unpurposefully”. I wanted to see where my thoughts were at that time of the day, a time when the media was at bay, a time when I could come to my computer to write and not yet be bombarded with each second of the day moving across the screen, images of rape and murders and dirty politics – I wanted to hear my thoughts. It is difficult to find those places anymore, it is difficult to be you anymore – to be still and think their own thoughts – we are always trending.

I have written many times about the natural world being over developed, the woodlands, the forests, the coasts, those places to “be” in are hardly available to us anymore, concrete and corporate have “bought” them and now much of that space is gone.

honeysuckleI am fortunate to have a bit of space that is in a natural state – not that big, but enough. I can walk through the field and spot a morning dove nesting in the tall grass and I can go to the edge of the woods and gather handfuls of honeysuckle to put in my kitchen. I can, in early spring, find wild blackberries to pick and I see the wildflowers bloom in complimentary colors each year, perfectly scattered in the fields and woods.

 For me, not being able to experience these simple gifts from the natural world would be the absence of joy – I would not have  inner peace, however fleeting it may be at times, if I did not have the natural world to connect to. It is spring and I must put plants in the ground and pick a bunch of wildflowers and honeysuckles and wake up early one Saturday morning in April and listen to the wind chimes in my backyard as I drink a cup of coffee and just be me.


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sometimes there are clouds

And so…yesterday was a myriad of feelings. I had some news that I worried tremendously about and then worked through and amongst that darkness, I had some wonderful news. I, like most mothers do, hung onto the worry and hardly recognized the good. By the end of the evening, the worry was soothed and this morning I can focus on the good. It seems, for me, the clouds shield the sun, the clouds always “win” – I am not happy to admit that about myself and that is the complete reason for this blog…to express the small things that are good, to constantly remind myself to notice and celebrate the little things – for they are the fabric. I haven’t much time this morning and I feel a bit depleted from the night, but I did want to post a picture of a wonderful gift from my neighbor across the street – a purple cabbage and turnips. This is the stuff that “takes me there”. Hope your day is well spent and I hope you live in appreciation of everyone in it.
 I’m thinking smoothered onions and turnips and a cole slaw with purple cabbage and green apples? I cannot wait until I have hours to spend in a garden, but in the meantime, I am so lucky to have these neighbors.

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in the end…

You know it takes a lot of energy to feed ego. You have to work really hard to keep up with its demands, and the demands are insatiable – once you start, it’s hard to stop. I have written about the power of ego before and I am constantly aware of its effort to seep into our lives, I view it as a negative force, as eroding as running water and consuming as a drug – it’s there always trying to be noticed. So many decisions have been based on it, decisions that, of course, end up badly. I have openly admitted to being its victim in my late 30s – I was somewhere I should have never been, somewhere strange to me. It was a place of consumption, a place that was fueled by ego. I suppose we all have pockets in life we are not happy with, that was mine. Perhaps it was some sort of mid-life crisis bunk or just the environment I was in at the time whatever it was, I lost sight of my real self, the self that loved art and gardens and genuine people who did the things they did because of passion not pressure and I was influenced by people like Miss Sue and my mother and held character and nature in reverence, not cars and consumption – I was never supposed to be in that world. Anyway, now that I am back where I should be, I struggle at the thought of where I was. But, as I always believe, things all happen for a reason and I needed to go there I suppose just so I could fully understand how people get sucked in and so I can appreciate where I am now.

 It is so wonderful here, here where you value the natural world and people who live lives that are honest and real. I think that losing my mother has had a lot to do with placing me at this vantage point – I have her life to see the near beginning and then the end and in seeing that I reshuffle what I see to be important – and nothing, not one thing has anything to do with the materialism and superficial existence of ego. That all goes away and what is left is character.

Ok, that was much to do about nothing on this spring morning. I tend to rant at times and I suppose that was the manifestation of some annoyance I encountered – take from it what you like. I am just celebratory about the freedom I have when I keep ego at bay – the joy I feel when I am a spiritual being – the pressures of this world melt away when I am in spirit. I just wanted to share. Maybe something I said can help put things in perspective and you can find a way to dismiss some negative force that is tapping at your door and instead, find your real self, the one with depth and purpose.

To end on a more pleasant note, the garden is growing, the bees are buzzing, and the hens are laying – life is good.

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early summer mornings

I will miss these mornings – tapping at my keyboard waiting for the sun to reach a little higher before swimming and then going straight to my garden and picking whatever it has for me on this day and feeding my anxious chickens and sometimes finding a plum or a berry to eat – I will draw from these early summer days when it is cold and dark and I am not here and they will encapsulate the freedom which is summer for me. The middle of the day is not so bucolic but it is good – time in the kitchen, clothes to wash, and some tiny project to do. Yesterday I sorted through socks – ahhhhh simple pleasures. There were socks in the basket with jingle bells on them from Elizabeth’s kindergarten days (I kept them) and socks with pumpkins and holes – those I tossed. Now there will be plenty of room for school socks in August and warm socks in December. Today my little project will be my jewelry (a very loose term) box and my paint box – specifically my oil paints (I at least will screw on caps!). Anyway, not much really planned (refer to previous post) but I do hope to accomplish these little things. Oh, and I have to make more zucchini bread …

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