Friday, August 8, 2008

After eight years of Virginia summers, I'm starting to figure things out. Small steps that make for survival. Giving into the heat. Seeking out solace and comfort in the subtle moments. In the quiet. Allowing the garden to do what it needs to do in August - even if that means wilting and receding under the blaring sun. Saving up its stores for an autumn show. I'll catch it on the flip side - when the struggle of the summer has relented. And we can plant and plan again.

So I turn to the shade under our tulip poplars. And iced tea. And hammock-swinging. Mid-afternoon book marathons in the air conditioning. Cherishing the end-of-the-day respite in a cool walk to the store down the road for ice cream. Capturing small moments with the camera.

This weekend: More treats from the farmers' market - a new routine that Willa and I enjoy. Okra. Peaches. Corn. Tomatoes. At home: Icy tumblers-full of homemade blackberry mint iced tea (recipe next week!). Bruschetta. Creating a moss terrarium for my work space. Swimming at Mint Springs.

But more often than not, remembering to sit still. Refining a skill I mastered as a child. And getting back to it as a mommy.


Les, Zone 8a said...

Sitting still is a highly underated activity. I wish I could teach it to my son, who feels that every minute of the woken day should be filled with entertainment or activity.

NeverEverEmma said...

Reading about the heat of summer is so nice for me over here in freezing Melbourne, Australia. I'm finding it easy to imagine soaking in the heat and sun on your deck.
Thanks for the virtual heat :)

Anonymous said...

This post was very timely. It addresses a yearly inner struggle. To water or not to water? Will the dried up, curled up and crispy shrubs, perennials and ground covers really die? Or will they barely limp along and make it in the end? My willingness to water has definitely waned over the years and every year, as our climate changes a little more, I tell myself: Don't do it and see what happens! I'm definitely better, I've only watered perennials and some sick looking shrubs a couple of times. I'm curious. What do you do about watering?


Tracey said...

Les - Yes - sitting still this weekend was more challenging than I thought. The To-Do Lists swirl around my head at a frantic pace. I (literally) had to turn my back to the house and face to the mountains to simmer down.

Nevereveremma - What a delight - to have a visitor from Australia. Too cool!

Betsy - So interesting that you run into the same internal debate. This is the first year I was actually aware of it - and became aware of letting go. As far as watering goes - our house runs on a rainwater collection. This has dried up. So, we go to the well, which can also run dangerously low. So - I water every-once-in-a-while - but VERY sparingly. Crispy is the word! My plants are happy with tossed aside water originally used to boil our dinner's pasta! said...

This is a beautiful post. Caused me to stop and think, look around and enjoy what is before me.
Thank you for that.