Sunday, June 24, 2018


It's not hard for me in the summer to find many many sweet moments of contentment. Mind you, like the rest of humanity, I can also find lots to grumble about. There are distressing moments, worries and frets, frustrations and mini dramas -- they populate everyone's waking hours and I'm no different.

But on a day like this -- sunny, full of lily buds and phloxian bundles, with a calm quiet all around us, it's easy to shelve the stresses, to take a deep beautiful breath, exhale and think about the good path before me.

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I thought about this as I worked in the late afternoon in a particularly tough corner of a flower bed -- the one closest to the sheep shed. Whereas the mosquitoes have receded in most of the commonly used spaces of the farmette (the work of Ed's mosquito traps? who can tell...), there are other places where they're thick and obnoxious. This corner is one of them. I wasn't properly dressed for the work and as I stooped down to do some modicum of weeding, I was attacked. It's one of those unrewarding gardening moments: I had made the mistake of sowing seeds in that area, thinking I might coax some wildflowers to grow there. I will never do that again. When stuff emerges, you have no idea if what you see are weeds or wildflowers. Most of it is one big green mystery. And it looks like a zone of great neglect. So I tried to do some pulling of stuff that sort of kind of looked weedy. I don't think I accomplished much and I surely got my share of mosquito pricks as a reward for my efforts.

But then I rinsed off my feet with a cold hose and entered the wonderfully cool farmhouse, popped open a lemon bubbly and sat down, taking in all that beauty before me, as seen from the comfort of a a chair at our super cool and spacious kitchen table (if it were closer to evening, I'd consider an Aperol Spritz, on the porch). It was a moment of great joy. Most everything outside is thriving and so is my family and so am I. That's how summer thoughts work -- even if you start with the grubby, buggy, tedious, tough moment, you can work your way to a moment of peace and great beauty.

(The garden right now is waiting for that great pop of lily blooms...)

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And how did our morning progress? Differently but exquisitely. Because the young family has commitments for this evening, I asked if all or some of them would like to stop by for breakfast. Snowdrop has a play date not too far from here and so after our morning meal, she can go off with her mom while I babysit Sparrow, giving a bit of a break to the dad who typically fills in when mom is shuttling Snowdrop places.

(Table is set... with snapdragons of course)

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(Here they come, Snowdrop leading the way!)

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It's a simple breakfast, thrown together quickly, but the eggs are fresher than fresh, the pancakes and bacon are a Snowdrop favorite, and the fruits are abundant right now.

(Ahah, can I have some of the maple syrup?)

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(You need many hands to feed us all...)

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And after -- the wading pool beckons. I mean, it's summer!
Can't I just go in for a little while?
Oh, how I appreciate the easy nature of this beast: two buckets and it's plenty full! In you go!

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At noon, a kiss for the babe and mom and daughter are off!

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(Sparrow is trying to understand why it's suddenly so quiet here... Where did she go??)

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(It's time to introduce him to the flowers of the farmette. Ooops, I don't have a hat for him. Maybe I can borrow Snowdrop's? Hmmm, a bit large...)

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Back inside, Sparrow runs through the usual cycle of newborn things: doze, eat, open eyes, close eyes, focus eyes, unfocus eyes. And listen to music. Is there an infant on this planet who does not love classical music?

(Ed: he is a little bit cute...)

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Funny how easy it is to find that spark. A child, a meal, a comfy seat looking out on a bed of flowers:  a little bit sweet, a little bit funny, a little bit colorful, a little bit lovely. A little bit perfect. A summer day, a beautiful summer day.