In the last few weeks leading up to the change of clocks, I would go out to my lanai and claim my God-time. One day I realized, that even though I had gone out at the same time as usual – about seven o’clock – the morning light had changed. In fact it was not fully light but rather that eerie time of in between when the sun has not quite risen but there is a pallor about the sky.
That was the first time I allowed myself to even consider that summer was ending and autumn was pushing through the door. I sat and watched, and listened. There was absolute silence. Normally as I go out there in the morning, squirrels are rustling through the trees and the birds are beginning to awaken with soft twitters and small trills. But on this morning I noticed the total quiet.
Although I accept the changing of the seasons, after all there’s very little that I can do to stop them changing, I do not like it. In sixty six years, however, I have learned that lesson. I think much of my non-acceptance stems from my British upbringing. In England, once whatever precious little summer that we got was over, then we were always assured of grey cold autumn coming in, followed by an even greyer and colder winter. Grey dooms my heart and soul. I get de-pressed and sad, and I’m just not my usual bright sunny self.
So even though I live in Florida now and the summer blurs into autumn, and winter usually is not so cold (let’s forget about last winter,shall we!!!) and definitely not so grey, I still have an imbedded expectation around this particular change of season, that the grey is about to descend upon me. I am grateful to be living here because I soon realize that autumn-into-winter is not synonymous with grey and cold. In fact, in the almost seven years that I have been here, I remember sunbathing frequently in the “winter” months and reveling in the fact.
So, as I was saying, in these past few weeks I have watched the morning light grow dimmer each day, even though I have gone out there at about the same time. Then, suddenly, about ten days ago I realized that there was barely a glimmer of light. I sat there and had to squint my eyes to make out shapes and forms in the un-light. But then I had the unexpected pleasure of watching the dawn light creep across the sky and in those pre-sunrise moments I began to make out smaller shapes and forms, and the details of leaves, flowers, trees, gazebo, slowly filled themselves in.
Then, in one glorious instant, a shaft of bright light came across the side garden fence and illuminated a slice of the picture in front of me. The trunk of a tree, a few branches, a small angle of the top of the gazebo, all became as clear as if in a naif painting. Moment by moment, my back yard and the woods beyond were suddenly lit up like the opening scene in a live theater. Almost immediately the rustling, the soft twitters, and the small chirps began until there was a full-throated burst of bird song.
Thank you God for the joy and the beauty of your creation. No matter what the season, there is always something wonderful, something awesome, to see and marvel over. I hope I always keep my open eyes and my open heart to appreciate the glory that is our world.
To say that I have been in a “dry spell” is an understatement. I have been wandering in an arid desert for some time. It has been a month since I have written anything. Nothing has surfaced to the tips of my fingers during that period. Life has been happening, as usual and there is little control that I have over it. It is a good thing that I trust in God to take care of the universe and that I do believe that everything is in divine order, even if I cannot see that.
I have been dealing with bee stings and the consequent physical reactions to them. No, I’m not completely allergic to them. I don’t have to carry the little needle stick thingy that some people have to carry. But I do get very bad localized reactions – swelling, infection, and inflammation, which means a trip to the doctor.
So then I had to deal with antibiotics and tapering steroids, followed by the consequences of taking antibiotics (you ladies know what I mean by that!). And so, guess what? Another trip to the doctor. Which then meant more antibiotics – great!! The weather then turned “grey” for several days and my spirit, which was struggling to stay afloat anyway, took a nosedive.
Just to add to my personal misery, I took a tumble. I was having lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, stepped from the carpeted area onto a very slick (read greasy) rubberized part of the floor around the food area, and felt like I had stepped onto an ice rink. I managed to not fall on my back (which was where I was initially headed), but went down hard on the outside of my right knee. It’s amazing how something like that can affect the normal routine of life.
First of all I had to cancel my Pilates lesson and make yet another trip to the doctor. When I walked in this time I asked his receptionist if she had my key ready. She looked somewhat confused and asked, which key? I smiled and said, “The key to my hotel room. I feel like I’m taking up residence!” I went home with a knee brace and instructions to “RICE” – Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. So no Pilates for a few days, no exercise at all for a few days.
Just to let the universe know I was not happy, or maybe vice versa, who knows, two days later I banged the toe next to my little toe on my left foot into a door. I’m not sure what kept the cuss words at bay. Perhaps a lot of practicing at reducing this particular defect of character. After icing it for a couple of hours it turned the requisite deep purple and blue green and I decided I should buddy tape it in case I had broken it. I made the decision not to go to the doctor’s again just in case he thought I was stalking him.
It is at this point that I remember thinking that I would like to go to the airport and get on the first flight that came along. Then I thought that maybe that could be to “Small Town, Idaho” (no offense to any natives from there). So I went out and bought a bar of the best chocolate I could find and deliberately comfort-ate with a nice cup of tea. Very British of me!
Well the last couple of days have seen a slight shift in the weather. Not quite so hot and definitely not so swampy. I love the heat and the sun and I even tolerate humidity, but we’ have had six or seven solid weeks of relentless heat and humidity and I have discovered that it drains me on all levels. And when I’m drained my Muse disappears:-(.
So the cool breezes and lower temperatures and the lack of high humidity levels seem to have freed my spirit enough to get on the keyboard. I am hoping that this will continue for a while now because I can already feel some ideas catching up and getting ready to pop out onto the page. Have a great Labor Day weekend.
Those of you who know me through my writing know that I love gardening. This love of gardening comes partly from my historic/geographic gene pool – I’m a Brit and we’re almost all gardening mad! The other part is still from my gene pool but from a more intimate and personal section – the family. Both my parents loved the garden, but my Dad had an absolute passion for his garden.
I’m not a very organized gardener as I’ve already mentioned in other postings. I’m not a very organized anything because I’m a real “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda gal”. My garden is a veritable hodge-podge of flowers and plants and I’m never quite sure what’s going to pop up where. I throw seeds all over the place and plant bulbs here and there, then I sit back and wait for the wonder of nature.
I love the growing process. Taking a seed and watching it peep up through the soil with it’s first tip of green is a most exciting adventure for me. It fascinates me that from that tiny little thing a whole flower or plant or bush or even a tree can come forth.
Sometimes I stand in my back yard with a seed in my hand and I look at everything that’s growing around me, and I am in absolute awe as I think it all started with a few seeds. The hand of God is most definitely present in such a miracle.
Gardening brings me great joy and I consider it to be wonderful therapy for the soul. Gardening takes me out of myself and is one of the few activities through which I feel a real connection with God. Gardening makes my heart happy.
But today I realized another benefit that comes from my hard work out there in the garden. Of late my husband has started taking series of photos of my garden. At first he was taking general all-around shots so that we could share them with the rest of the family that is flung around the world.
More recently he began taking close-ups of single blooms and flowers. Such works of art each and every one in itself. He also took one set that was all leaves and they turned out to be very interesting and beautiful. But here’s the kicker.
Richard is also this “computer geekie/techie guy”. He works a lot with Windows 7 and it allows him to create themes. These are a series of images that you can put together as desktop wallpaper. Well he has taken my garden as his inspiration for creating beautiful themes that are available for free download if you work with Windows 7.
If you’re a garden fanatic and you’d like to check out more shots of my garden, you can visit our Summer Garden shots album. I hope you get as much enjoyment from this as I do.