It is dusk...Sitting outside on the deck w/locusts singing. There's a football game at the high school, several miles away, and I can hear the announcer. Water garden fountains are singing. I see flickers of lightening bugs as the sun gets more pale in the sky. Dogs are discovering new things in the backyard and coming in every once in a while to "check in." I have the citronella lamps burning. The air is cool but not clammy, and I am trying to talk Rob into spending the night out here, sleeping on our foam mats.
I love this place. It's been Home for 28 years, and the land around our house has seen so many changes and metamorphoses. The swing set no longer stands with flat swings and a glider. It houses a dog agility jump and a Little Tykes baby swing. And a couple of pretty windchimes. The "rosebed" is replaced by a large oak tree that came up in its mulch many years ago. Shade, now. All shade. The trees have taken over the full sun area, and the challenge has been to find shade-loving plants to place underneath them. There's benches and stepping stones with angels and old galvanized buckets, rotary telephones, a manual Underwood typewriter, huge granite stones, concrete angels, an old bathtub, even an old bathroom sink. And, of course, there's the iron couldron that came from Aunt Jewel's. Lemon thyme cascades out of it, and nearby is an old iron stove that I burn stray sticks in when the weather gets cold. It's a yard put together for 3 decades by a woman who is so crazy, there are not words to contain who she is. She just Is.
And she knows every square inch of this yard. Arranges rocks in new paths and borders, but no one notices the change except her. The fish in the watergarden know her voice, and come to the top of the pool with open mouths, asking.She scoops the dog poo. She tucks brushed-out Collie fur into tree branches for the birds' nests. She transplants a wild daisy and checks for ripe figs and red tomatoes. She plays keepaway with the dogs and chase the vinca vine with the cats. She curls up in the hammock and sees the shapes in the clouds....
I look at me sometimes in wonderment at all the small things I am and can be. I am encircled by contentment, undeserved contentment. And I am so grateful that my body and most of my mind appreciate these things.