No words today; just memories of the whimsy, the wildlings, the wonders, and the worries which have been at my table this spring.
This post comes to you,
just because it’s spring,
and flowers demand attention, with winning ways,
and because I promised Tish Farrell , Writer on the Edge, I would photograph my mini-meadows when they flowered.
I have been in a rough place since my last post. Almost a month ago, I wrote that I wanted to feast on life, not fear. And I really meant it. I really did. But Fear, with its fiendish companion Anxiety, decided it was time to make a meal out of me. They set their teeth into me, tore me apart in their jaws, and tried to devour me chunk by chunk. Most unpleasant. ( I hope they got indigestion.)
Friends and family rallied round and helped me prise loose those nasty jaws, and patched me up. But the struggle has left me tired and short on creativity. Yesterday was the first time in nearly a month that I felt energetic enough to take some photos.
They are not particularly good photos but I am posting them as a way of saying thank you to friends everywhere, and to family, for keeping me steady and upright in recovery.
You are the flowers around me,
you are perfect companions,
and help to keep my pathway blooming.
And, just for fun, let’s lighten the mood with my song of the day
The reasons behind my rough patch are multiple; some are earthquake related stresses, and some are family-related. For privacy reasons I am not able to discuss all of the family-related issues.
Still in the spirit of keeping track of myself ~
ALL GOOD GIFTS ( Incomings):
from Cynthia, author of A Good Home, a dedicated post, accompanied by flowers;
ALL GOOD GIFTS (Outgoings):
for Robbie ( and Lori ), composting my soil in time for Save our Soil Blogger Action Day, and scattering seeds of buckwheat and wildflowers;
for Clare, a beautiful rendition of We Plough the Fields and Scatter,
and a glimpse of a harvest to come,
fed on the sweetness of summer raindrops;
for Cynthia, an arrangement
for a heart’s ease and a heart’s celebration in all things bright and good, no matter how tiny.
For Halloween I treated myself to a simple beaker of flowers.
But I also received another, unexpected, sweet treat for Halloween; a lesson in good citizenship.
Friday morning a stranger knocked on my door; a smiling, cheerful, young woman. She told me that she lived down the lane opposite me. She said she wanted to take her two children trick or treating. Would it be okay if she brought them to my door around 5pm? ( Bear in mind that Halloween is not widely celebrated in New Zealand). She said she was consulting a half-dozen neighbours and that would be more than enough households for her children to visit, and to give them a taste of Halloween fun. They are only little, she said, just 4 and 6, and they are very excited about their Halloween costumes. Of course I said, yes, that would be fine, but I would have to go and buy some sweets because I had nothing suitable in the house. “Oh, please don’t worry about that,” the young mother replied, ” I have prepared sweets for you to give them if you would like to join in.” Whereupon she produced a small ziplock packet of mixed sweeties/candy.
At 5pm exactly, Mum and the littlies came down my driveway, full of chatter and high pitched glee. They knocked on the door and squealed delightedly when I opened it ( I guess I have authentic witchy-white hair!) . “Trick or treat, ” they said in giggly unison. Their mother introduced them to me. Pleasantries exchanged, I produced the sweet assortment, and their little eyes grew round and big with amazement. Hands dipped in to the bag until it was emptied. Then, with a polite thank you or two, the pink-slippered, silver-hatted witch and her Dracula-draped brother skipped off to another happy reception at my neighbour’s.
It was a lovely moment. Possibly one of the best Halloweens I have had; a thoughtful mother, teaching her children that their community is a good place, and that they can be part of the good citizenry that makes it so.
I hope she will, one day, also introduce them to what comes after Halloween; All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Days (also not widely celebrated in New Zealand, as far as I know).
Tonight and tomorrow I will light candles and remember the good citizens of my small world who have died during the past year. Some were old and ready to leave us, whilst others seemed far too young. In particular I want to remember two of our blogging community, Catherine Crout-Habel of Seeking Susan and Christine of Dadirridreaming . Many of you will know other bloggers who have died in the past 12 months. Please feel free to remember them in the comments, if you would like to. They were good citizens enriching, and lighting up, our lives.
Right about now, over at the home of Muse-ings , vsperry will be orchestrating order in an area of her garden which she describes as “A Fine Mess”. I would simply leave out the word “Mess” and call it “Fine”, or, as in the case of my own garden, refer to the “Mess” as ” Channelling one’s inner “Piet Oudolf” (with apologies to Piet 😉 ).
For the greater part of the summer and fall, this wilderness of mostly self-sown plantings was the scene from my bedroom window.
It was a sight that gave me much pleasure, for all the weeds, entangled foliage and seeming disorder.
The garden bed was not carefully planned like one of Piet Oudolf’s masterpieces (OBVIOUSLY), but I did have a plan of sorts, which was to let the garden follow its own course and,
thus, provide a dense and closely woven safe haven for the monarch caterpillars, and a well-stocked larder for the bees and their larger selves, the humblebees.
My plan was a success
buzz vis-a-vis buzz the bees, but a failure as far as the monarchs were concerned. Not one of the many caterpillars made it to butterfly status. That was a disappointment, after my successful monarch season last year, where I helped raise at least twenty monarch butterflies. I don’t know what went wrong this time; perhaps we had too much rain; too little sun? Or, as Russel Ray pointed out to me, my wilderness garden may have provided a haven for the social wasp, arch-enemy of the monarch.
So, with winter approaching and no longer any chance of monarchs, I embarked on a clean up of the little plot. It now looks like this. Clean and tidy….and dull. Not a “Mess” but also not “Fine”. Not yet, anyway. There’s good manure in the soil, and worms, and caterpillar plus bee frass,
so, in a few months, it may provide solace for my senses once again. And, later, much later, the monarchs may be tempted to return. I hope so. I know the bees will come.
Virginia, how is your clean up going? There is no danger that your garden will succumb to DULL. 🙂 It will be clean, tidy and finer than ever.