It’s been a biblical sort of summer — lots of water and wine.
We moved in May into a home with a blank canvas for a yard. The past months have been a flurry of planting and watering and more planting and watering. The open canvas of dirt beckoned a paintbrush to add hollyhocks, hummingbird mint, zinnias, lilacs, perennials of all colors and shapes, climbing roses and rose bushes, lilacs, aspens, apricot and apple trees, cottonwoods and locusts. Noé said living with me this summer was like living with a badger—every time he looked out a window, dirt was flying!
We planted trees by moonlight. I started each day watering by 5:00 am. The morning rhythm included slipping on a robe, candles, coffee, pull on boots, step outside, inhale stars, pull up the handle of the hose, water, come in to write, back outside to water. Coming home from work, I headed straight to the hose, ruined some very nice heels, and started the rotation of watering all.
The flying dirt, the watering, the planting and more planting represented the physical sinking of roots in an unexpected move—the human craving of familiar rhythms, which in the summer for me means giving bouquets grown in my garden.
In the last 20 years, the ground around our home has gone untended. We cleared and raked, thinned and hauled. My boots worn into comfort, scuffed and scraped, on the ranch held the cholla thorns mostly at bay and walked many, many miles this summer. So much of my life is spent in front of a computer—I welcomed the physical exertion and sweat of walking, hauling, loading, and digging outside. Actually, it felt great!
“Make hay while the sun shines,” took on new meaning. This summer was about doing as much as possible outside. Indoor projects can be done during winter months.
A hawk came to visit as I watered one evening.
The rhythms of summer included a wedding, exquisite in detail and overflowing with love.
I just brought in the inside plants to live in my writing room for the winter. This marked the deepening of a season. We anticipate the first frost soon.
I look forward to the brightness and life of these flowers, when all outside is frozen and grey. I study the new plants each morning and evening and wonder what the spring will bring.
I hope the wild sunflower seeds, gathered from along the highway and roads, and tossed around our property will take root.
Chile ristras now replace the geraniums and flowers next to our gate.
As I look outside my the window of my writing room to see the little white lights which now give shape to the branches outside in the darkness I think of Ecclesiastes 3, “To every thing there is a season, and a time and a purpose under heaven.”
I look forward to this new season of looking within, of deep writing, of wondering which tender roots will make it through the winter to emerge in spring.
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