October 27th, 2013
I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. I say “run/walk.” I used to say “run.” Now I say “run/walk.” It’s really “walk.” I am still in denial about the whole knee pain situation.
Anyway, I digress.
I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. Most days I listen to books via Audible on my iPhone while I run/walk because a good book with a compelling storyline and a talented reader who keeps me hanging on every word makes me want to keep run/walking so I don’t have to go inside and work/work. It’s a fabulous way to procrastinate/procrastinate and still feel a wee bit virtuous. I’m reading and exercising! In fact, I am pretty much on track to finish 100 Kindle, traditional and audiobooks this year as part of my Goodreads goal.
This morning I had to fumble a bit before getting Audible up and running. (Thank you iOS 7 for making me add a password.) While I was mashing virtual buttons on the minuscule screen without benefit of my reading glasses, I ran/walked several yards, not looking at the first thing except that tiny screen.
Suddenly it hit me. Smoke. Specifically, wood smoke from someone’s fireplace.
Now, I’m not big into fireplaces with smoke because of sensitive sinuses and a strong tendency to get painful sinus infections when exposed to smoke of any sort. But small doses of outside smoke from someone else’s fireplace a half mile away is rather nice. It says, “Fall!” It says, “Time to reflect and slow down.” It says, “Drink some hot chocolate and take a nap!”
It’s a smell with dozens of associations from childhood and from the happiest (and a few sad) times of my life. That smell was accompanied by the nature music of my feet brushing aside the fallen leaves as I walked up the driveway.
“Slow down!” I said to myself. (But don’t stop running/walking!)
I put away the iPhone and looked at the mosaic of colors—red, yellow, brown, green and every color of fall, punctuated by the occasional, fearless rose, salvia and celosia.
If I could bottle up that fantastical combination of smell, sound, fresh air, color—and the rush of the run/walk—I would be richer than Oprah.
Alas, no one has figured out how to capture the magic of Mother Nature, although artists, photographers, musicians and perfumers still try.
But I am still rich. I am rich because I can appreciate the gifts Mother Nature hands out for free to anyone willing to pause in their run/walk through life and appreciate it.
February 14th, 2013
I’m sitting here with seed and plant catalogs scattered around—Plant Delights, Botanical Interests, Baker Creek, Cook’s Garden, John Scheepers…My Lee Valley 10-Year Garden Journal is open to February. My Excel spread sheet plant inventory is open on my computer screen. The collection I affectionately refer to as my Seed Vault is on the floor under my desk, threatening to overflow into Seed Vault Two.
I’m bundled in a bulky sweater, fingerless gloves and my warmest Ugg shoes. I hardly remember what summer looked like last year.
I know it was green. I’m pretty sure it was green. I remember picking tomatoes, cucumbers, tiny mar des bois strawberries, Bright Lights Swiss chard. My husband and I spent many evenings under the stars finishing dinner and drinking wine, listening to the crickets and watching the bats dart across the night sky. I can remember the smell of freshly mown grass and basil pinched between my fingernails.
Gosh, my feet are cold. I should to make some hot tea.
Oh yes, we had lots of butterflies last year. Monarchs, zebra swallowtails, eastern tiger swallowtails, red admirals. I didn’t know the name of some of the butterflies and moths but loved them just the same. I remember wondering why the monarchs seemed so skittish and the eastern tiger swallowtails would almost let me touch them.
Oh, that’s right. All those celeste figs! So many I hardly knew what to do with them all. I stood next to the tree and popped them right into my mouth.
Maybe another pair of socks would help warm my feet.
Oh, the birds! That’s right. Our hummingbird feeder had a lot of business last summer.
I should bundle up and go top off the bird feeders now. That birdbath could use some hot water to melt the ice too.
So much lemon grass! I remember I was glad I only planted one since it nearly crowded out the cone flowers.
And the asparagus was filling in nicely. I think we can pick some more this year.
Ah yes. There was color too. Purples and blues and oranges and yellows.
It’s awfully cold in here. Maybe I should just turn up the heat for a little while.
Oh, that’s right. It’ll be better soon.
(Click on the photos to embiggen.)
Posted In: Gardening