What a summer! While some Ontarians (those deprived of perfect holiday weather) were complaining about how “not summery” it felt this year– so much rain, our lakes too cold for swimming, etc.– of course I listened sympathetically!
But then a few gardening friends and I gloated privately to one another how wonderful these last few months had been: lots of rain provided lush green lawns and vibrant flowers without us having to constantly lug our watering cans around, or worry about our rain barrels running dry! There were hot days too, but in my shady back yard, this was the summer for getting long-put-off heavy-duty projects done. In the midst of the hard work, I couldn’t help noticing that:
Fresh breezes whisper
secrets to sighing maples.
Insolent birds chirp!
Oops, a haiku happened! Despite such distractions, my husband and I dug out, and I repositioned 28 heavy cement blocks (hollow sections facing up) that form the right edge of a flower bed extending the depth of the back yard. Now the edge aligns nicely with a walkway that my husband made using the long-standing pile of patio stones left from our former terrace. And, it’s easier now to lug the aforementioned watering can along that smooth path! I hope the Scotch moss I planted in potting soil in the cement block hollows will spread along the top of this low wall for a cool medieval look. His further backbreaking work using up the rest of the patio stones created a much-needed (and appreciated!) smooth work area at the side of the house, and a pathway out to the driveway.
On the other side of the yard, I dug out some 50 tired old leaning bricks edging the polygonal herb bed, and laid them flat as a foundation for new edging. The year of the tumble-rock splurge! It started modestly with a load of 50 stones for this bed, but somehow, a couple of loads later, five flower beds found themselves surrounded with a beautiful tumble-rock edging. I’m still emptying out compost bins into the flower beds, and adding rich black soil, but the yard’s visual improvements thus far are deeply satisfying.
What does my rant about hard labour have to do with this blog’s stated lofty intention of “exploring connections in faith, creative expression, emotional and physical health”? Is this a “random rumination” by someone who likes to “meditate, think, daydream, explore and use diverse creative pursuits to enrich [her] daily life”? Well, maybe there are some clues in this poem from my book Mindset – Reflections En Route:
And so, farewell to August!