The hydrangeas in the front yard are in full bloom now, the weight of the flowers causing the stems to bow and reach toward the ground for relief. I was thinking about change earlier today, it’s in the air here in Michigan. The days are growing shorter and last night autumn tiptoed by me as I sat out on the deck reading, the cool night breeze chasing me inside for a sweater. The older I get, the more I believe that the most important trait survivors have in common is the ability to adapt and change. We all have expectations—for our relationships, for our careers and financial well-being, for our health and the health of our loved ones. But life doesn’t necessarily meet our expectations. As a matter of fact, you can be damn sure it won’t meet all of them! So that leaves us with a choice, become bitter and sad and live in a perpetual state of disappointment and unease, or surrender and change your expectations. It’s not easy, and you don’t get there by just saying you want to, it takes time and maybe even a few passing years. But you can get there. Change is good, you may have to bend a little to embrace it, but that’s okay, you won’t break.
“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” ~Japanese Proverb
This is the creamy white clematis, Henryi. I moved him last fall from the back of the yard to an arbor that gets more sun up by the deck. So far he seems much happier in his new home, not only does he get more light, but he’s also protected from the harsh winds that can blow through my yard. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about gardening over the years, it’s that you have to be willing to be flexible and change your plans, things don’t always work out quite the way you want them to in a garden.
A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. ~ May Sarton
We’ve been having blue, blue skies here for the past few days and summer-like temperatures. It’s been wonderful to get outside and plant my flowers, good for the spirit and my legstoo,I have plenty of soar muscles from all the bending and squatting! Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend and I also hope you pause and take some time over the next few days to remember and honor the men and women who have served their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.
The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. ~Douglas MacArthur
Over the weekend I decided to give the hedges in the front yard a much needed buzz cut with the electric trimmers while the hubby was out golfing. By the time I got around to the final boxwood I had pretty much exhausted all fantasies of being a hairstylist for the military, I was hot, thirsty, and my arms felt like rubber bands but I only needed to make one final swipe…Have you ever done something even though you knew better? I saw that the extension cord had been pulled up into the bush and was resting rather close to that last group of shaggy limbs but I went ahead anyway and heaved that little trimmer through the air like I was Paul freakin’ Bunyan swinging an ax, and when it hit the power cord I’m not sure which came first, the loud popping noise or the flames.
When the fireworks ended I found myself standing there like a fool waiting to die, waiting for that beautiful white light and for my grandmother to appear and whisk me away to the land of chubby cheeked cherubs and no yard work. But thanks to the insulating properties of plastic and the wonders of the modern day circuit breaker, the only land I visited that afternoon was the land of buzzing fluorescent lights and bright orange aprons where I plunked down twenty bucks for a new extension cord. Lesson of the day: If you think you know better, you probably do! Take the time to get the ladder out instead of standing on that wobbly lawn chair, don’t move the couch by yourself, and please don’t have just one more drink and then get behind the wheel of a car.
When Mr. bookbabie got home from his leisurely round of golf he found me out on the deck reading my book. He said that he thought my accident may have been a case of Freudian power tool assassination. I didn’t argue. Instead, I took a long, slow sip of my iced tea while pointing innocently to his brand new extension cord that lay curled at the feet of a backyard battalion of untamed hedges.
Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands. ~ Jeff Cooper
A couple of days ago I was watering the clematis in the photograph above. It grows up against the house next to our front porch. I was standing out on the driveway, staring at the water from the hose as it arced up and out toward the thirsty vine when out of the corner of my eye I saw a glistening emerald green hummingbird fly up to the spray. It hovered a few inches from the water and then it flew over it and then under it and then back to center, eye level with me again and only a few feet away. It did this delightful little dance several times.
As I watched the tiny bird play in the pearly mist, I realized he had no idea I was there, he was just as mesmerized as I had been by the stream of sunlit water. Do you ever have a moment you wish would last forever? When everything is exactly as it should be and you don’t want or need anything “more”? That was one of those moments for me. Watching that delicate little bird bathe in a rainbow of sun-drenched water then sit on a tree branch next to me and fluff and preen his miniature jewel like feathers—it was the universe at its best—it was perfection.
One of the things I like best about summer is the smell of the honeysuckle vines I have growing next to the backyard gate. In the evening, when the air outside begins to cool, the night breeze gathers the sweetness of the little yellow flowers and carries it into the house through an open window, laying it before me…the perfect summer gift.