Windows open for days on end Listening to the frogs and owls at night Flowers, bees, and butterflies Biking somewhere, or biking nowhere in particular An afternoon at the lake Line-dried sheets Thunderstorm! Leaving the house without outerwear for so many months that we forget about it Long daylight hours Grills fired up all around the neighborhood Garden bounty Outdoor festivals Farmers markets Greenery everywhere Less laundry to do with reduced bulk of summer clothes Picnics Sitting by the campfire Stargazing Increased unscheduled time Outdoor concerts
Last summer, two friends and I met weekly to garden together. We rotated yards, worked for a few hours and then had lunch, brought by the visiting gardeners. We’re continuing again this summer and our first session reminded me of how much is accomplished while chatting and not even thinking about the work. In two hours, we weeded a large plot in my yard that is now planted to be a shade garden. I’ll have to keep after the weeds continually until all the plants grow and spread, but just getting to this point would not have happened without the dedicated time to gardening and the aid of my friends. Next week we’ll be at Julie’s yard, where I look forward to seeing the results of our last summer’s efforts. We share plants, ideas, and skills along with labor and lunch, and all that sharing builds our overall gardening abilities as well as our gardens.
Over the years, I’ve had multiple cooperative efforts with friends, and all have been very rewarding. Various friends and I gave our kids a tiny preschool in familiar spaces; we’ve shared childcare for young kids on a regular, rotating basis; we’ve traded family-sized dinners and, most recently, workweek lunches. I had the idea for cooperative gardening years ago, but it took a while to find a group who was ready to try it. I hope it will continue for many years.
I awoke uninspired and unexcited. It wasn’t the weather’s fault, and I knew that. The only thing making this a less than perfect day was my own mind, which, admittedly, was slow and fogged after less than optimal sleep and yesterday’s excess of rich and salty potluck food.
Still, it was pouring rain and about 40 degrees, and there would be no eating breakfast on the porch while listening to the birds, or visiting our neighbor’s friendly cat on my morning walk, or feeling the warmth and seeing the golden tints of the sun.
I enjoy a nice rainy day that encourages me to stay inside… most of the time. That is, when I haven’t spent nearly every day of the past 6 months mostly indoors. But I managed to turn today around – again, in my own mind – and enjoy the rain. A friend stopped by for tea and a long chat. Thom vacuumed, and I purged the bookshelves and switched around the summer and winter clothing. I sorted through papers with a purring cat on my lap while smelling the baking bread.
It’s going to rain more tonight, and I look forward to listening to the drops hitting the roof and windows, while I cozily lounge with a book. It’s going to rain more tomorrow, and I will think of the seeds in my garden that hopefully will sprout, and the trees that need all this water for their new leaves.