listen to birdsong
walk to barn
listen to birdsong
walk to barn
desert birds of paradise
lavender, catmint, Mexican hats, feather grass
early summer Joy
barely buried by the barn
caliche covered at drive’s end
along the retaining wall
Life sometimes graces you with lovely surprises, the unexpected sunrise, flowers in unusual places, the rarely seen bobcat climbing the canyon wall. Today, tired, bag full of papers to grade, I entered my house, smelling a puzzling sweetness. The stage manger of Les Miserable lived with me two weeks. She left a bottle of red wine, a heartfelt note, and a bouquet, snowy lilies, golden roses, blue bells. Lillie scent pervades the room. I walk in beauty.
On my way home from work today, I stopped by a friend’s house to get some Black Eyed Susans. She and her husband run a bed and breakfast with a spectacular garden in the back. Iris of every color are blooming, yellow, lavender and white, peach, every shade of purple, and one a combination of colors I have never seen before. The lavender and white combined in one flower I gave her in the fall of 2012. They rebloom and spread rather rapidly. Because of that and the fact that I cannot bear to throw any away, I have them by the barn and here and there. Some do better than others–a lot of the soil here is either clay or caliche or a combination, not very conducive to anything but the toughest. She has a rose bush taller than I am which means it must be about 5’6″ or 7″. Another deep red rose was already blooming. She gives me flowers and I wait and see how they do or if the deer or bunnies will eat them.
Today’s weather brought perfection, a rare treat of just the right temperature, sunshine, and no wind. When I arrived, her husband was napping in the garden in a lawn chaise. He got up, we all walked around the garden, looked in the koi pond, and commented what flowers seemed to flourish more readily than others. Many flowers which do well in town either die out here in the country only twelve miles away or fail to thrive. They just sit there and do nothing. She and I have shared flowers for years, flowers and conversation and wine. We all decided to sit town and share some wine and cheeses and crackers and visit. They travel widely and always have tales to tell. He is from Jordan so we discuss world events. Part of today’s conversation centered on Boko Haram and the differences between Shia and Sunni. He is Sunni and I used to be married to a Shiite. Often we discuss extremism and how it harms everyone, regardless of religion. None of us understand the hatred some people seem to feel toward others who are different from them either my race or religion or ethnicity or gender.
As soon as I returned home and changed into gardening clothes, I fed Rosie, and planted the Black Eyed Susans with a big dose of water and root stimulator. Who knows if they will make it. I will wait and see. If they do, they will contrast nicely with the purple of the catmint and the white, tiny, native Blackfoot Daisies growing wild among the other plants in my little garden. What more can a person wish for than spending time with good friends among the flowers. And a little wine never hurts.
For years I puzzled over what this phrase means. This evening I discovered the answer. Unlike the first part of the week, today was sunny, little wind, high 70s, what most consider a perfect day weather wise. I ran home from work, gave Rosie, my horse, some food, let Isabella, my dog out for a bit, and then ran back to town to see my grandson perform. He attends Wolflin Elementary School. The physical education teacher selected a group of students called the SWAT Team who perform at different functions. The last time I saw them, they performed at a local high school’s basketball tournament. Today they executed four routines at their school’s annual gala, a fund raiser with games, food, a silent auction, dunking in the water, that sort of thing. It really astonished me. I have no idea how much they practiced, but these routines were not short and everything was perfectly choreographed. First, the boys performed using basketballs to do various tricks and movements in unison to music. Then the girls did this complicated sort of dance over these long bamboo poles that other students clicked together. The only other place where I have seen anything like this is in Thailand at the Rose Garden near Bangkok. The third routine included both boys and girls and they used this giant circle of multicolored cloth to dance around, in and out, make the cloth into a sort of yurt like shape. I have no idea how they kept it up like a giant circular tent one minute and flat the next. Finally, they competed with hoola hoops to see who could keep going the longest.
After I returned home, I hosed off the front entryway, planted some flowers in pots, and watered other flowers, all in preparation for a fund raiser tomorrow night at my house–to raise money for a local senior citizens center. Rosie is shedding her winter coat and seemed miserable itching so I brushed her. Now tufts of pale rose colored hair lay everywhere in her corral. Finally, a bit after eight I came inside for a late dinner. Then I noticed. No sounds, no wind, no appliances humming, no coyotes howling, no birds singing, no dogs barking, no sounds at all. Nothing. The patio doors are open; I walked outside a few minutes ago. Nothing. I sit here before the computer and hear the sounds the keys make when I hit them. When I stop, nothing.
Isabella on the patio in winter.
They started blooming today.
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