I love puttering around in our yard on these long summer evenings. I have a talent for puttering and a gift for wandering and meandering.
(Puttering is just about the only thing I have the energy for right now as I wait and wait and wait for my stubborn body to respond to treatment. I continue to be exhausted by the smallest tasks and most basic of activities. Hopefully it will not always be this way. Hopefully the infusions will work. Hopefully I won’t always feel 200 years old! But right now – well right now – puttering is where I find myself.)
Anyway – I love puttering around our yard and flowerbeds and garden. I take great delight in puttering in our yard. I pull a weed here or there. I appreciate all of our hard work. I delight in the glorious array of flowers and plants and lush greenery that greet me when I walk outside our front door.
When we moved into our home almost 10 years ago our flowerbeds were absolutely – positively hideous. They were seriously dated and painfully neglected. They had incredibly ugly – overgrown bushes in them and just a few measly – sad flowers. I am very anti-bush in flowerbeds. They are called “flowerbeds” not “BUSH-beds” and therefore should be filled to overflowing with flowers. The exception being rosebushes. I will permit rosebushes to exist in my flowerbeds – otherwise all bushes are promptly and gleefully kicked to the curb. (If you like bushes in YOUR flowerbeds this is wonderful. I am very – very happy for you and your bushes. I delight in your delight in bushes. I happen to like flowers in my flowerbeds – lots and lots and lots of flowers.)
After a decade of growing – our flowerbeds are everything I hoped they would become when we planted them so many years ago. They overflow with flowers. (I wanted to purchase a new color of coneflower this spring – but Jason and I weren’t sure where we would put them without digging a whole new bed!)
My flowerbeds are a riot of color. They are downright obnoxiously colorful! They attract bees and birds and butterflies and our kitten and me too!
I enjoy our flowerbeds and yard at all times of the day – but evening and dusk are my favorite times of all.
One of the most intriguing things about wandering the yard at dusk is the way the colors of the flowers seem to change right before my eyes. The yellow – purple – orange – and pink flowers grow more muted. But the white flowers – well the white flowers seem to glow as the sun sets. White flowers at dusk look downright ethereal. (I love the word “ethereal” and don’t have nearly enough occasions in which to use it!)
I love listening and watching as the world around me shifts and changes and settles in for the night. The birds quiet down just as the insects really kick up their noisy evening chorus.
Fireflies delight and amuse me. So does Craig our kitten. Truly – his antics are hilarious. He likes fireflies too. Craig the Kitten and I make an easily entertained pair!
I love listening to and observing Jack and Will. Sometimes they goof around in the yard with Craig and me. Sometimes they play their own version of croquet or wrestle on the trampoline or do whatever it is that boys do outside on summer evenings. Will and Jack laugh a lot when they are together. It is such a blessing to hear their laughter or simply to hear their voices drifting through the evening air. In spite of their significant age difference Jack and Will enjoy each others’ company. Jason and I give thanks for this – because we know how fraught sibling relationships can be.
Jason spends a fair amount of time in the summer months weeding and watering and fertilizing our raised garden beds. He tends our pepper and tomato plants with great care. I am less garden and more flower – and he is the opposite. We compliment one another wonderfully!
These quiet moments in the yard are moments I treasure. I give thanks for the opportunity to listen to the wind – to listen to my family – to watch the fireflies flicker – to see the colors shift and change in the setting sun. To listen to crickets and mowers and birds. I find I am able to give thanks for both the little blessings and the bigger blessings in life.
Puttering in the yard is truly one of my favorite summer rituals. I look forward to it all winter long and linger in the moment whenever I am able. I run my fingers over the flowers. I take the time to delight in both the perfect blossoms and the less than perfect blossoms. Both are intriguing in their own ways. I give thanks for this simple ritual. It is all my own. No one else wanders with me (except for the one who is always with me – of course).
What are the simple summer rituals that you delight in? What are the blessings of this season for you? How are you tending your soul and caring for yourself?