Summertime–and the living is…



When we were children, summertime really was this delightful time-out-of-time because we were out of school. Most of us had responsibilities for chores–feeding the animals and giving them water and weeding the garden were my big ones most years–but the days stretched out with some leisure time for riding and hiking and lying in the grass, looking at clouds.

Many of you know I’m heading out of the country for three weeks…in about three weeks.  There is so much to get done before I go–almost none of it related to the trip. Because I haven’t done all of that yet.

Exactly. Following your bliss, as I told someone earlier this week, is hard work.

The garden is in, weeded, mostly mulched. (Though I cleaned out the kitchen garden’s beds earlier this week and will replant there before I go–probably squash.) There are currants to be picked–later today–and the apple tree may be ready to be harvested by mid-July, though I won’t make cider until the fall when I can blend several different juices.

Writing is where I’ve fallen short–as anyone who reads my blogs will know.  I have felt the loss of it–because I do love to write–but I keep stacking up things in the queue, knowing the time will come when it all burbles forth.

Summertime is still rich and wonderful but I need to find ways to reclaim the leisurely parts of it–reading outdoors in the cool of the evening, picking wildflowers from the wild places in my neighborhood (while there still are a few wild places), sitting quietly and doing…nothing at all.

Leisure. It is a good and noble pursuit.


The Burnished Red of a Golden Moon

The Crescent Moon tonight was cool and sharp in her ascending but now she seems to be lowering into the Western ridge of mountains and she has put on her warlike face. She is poised now–a sickle, a scythe–leaning in towards Spivey Mountain with a dark intention. The perfect horns of her falling rip my breath from me as I watch her go.  Slow and glorious, swift in her newness and gleeful in her power.

This is a Moon of changes and wily transformation. She is a Moon of decision and fortitude. There is no enigma here–her intention is clear as the night sky below her.

How will you use the energy of this trickster Moon? Will you embrace the rashness, the bold shift to fire and blood? Or will she stay as as quiet reminder of the mutability of life, as reflected in the revolution and evolution of her prickly horns which grow duller as she rounds in her wisdom?


Options in the Green World


No surprise to anyone in the southern Highlands that this has been an extraordinarily wet and cool springtime. I’ve been busy with lots of writing and presenting but that is only one reason I was so late in getting the garden planted this season. We’ve been doing “infrastructure”–cleaning, pumping up, prepping planting beds and mulching paths.

It’s finally all planted–the home garden, at least.  I’ve taken on responsibility in the Women’s Garden and that one is also behind its times.  I’m doing Monday morning work days there but spent last Monday in a soft rain, pulling heavy-duty weeds because it was too wet to work the soil and plant.  And today, Beloved Crone called me a little after seven to say the fig tree had uprooted itself. Again.

This is the time of year when we feel most tied to the land–a bond of friendship and tending that yields strawberries still warm from the sun and broccoli so crisp and green that the taste buds boggle.

There is never enough time to do it all.  I am de-woading and de-hopsing the summer garden, ridding two big planting beds of wildly-growing cultural icons that yield little in the way of foodstuff.

Evenings find me wandering through the rows, weeding out the damned morning glory sprouts, thinning the carrots and the okra. Two short rows of turnips yield a big bunch of delicious greens every few days. And the loose-leaf lettuces have germinated and will soon be edible–the salads of the future lurk there between the haricot verts and the radishes.

How are you finding solace–and vegetables–in the green and growing things that are all around you?