The warm bath that passes for air this week, reminds me why I want to return to living in the Pacific Northwest. In the spring it’s easy to forget. But now, already, the air conditioning has been on much of the week. Though I have turned it off and opened the windows the past two nights, I know the nights that is feasible will soon be over for the duration--the duration being too many months away.
Along with afternoon steam, though, the rains make the garden--and me--happy. Second only to mountains, there is no place I would rather be than in the garden after a good rain; particularly in the early morning, or in the evening when the sun has gone down reducing the sauna-effect. The air smells fresh and fragrant, water drops cling to leaves, and I can almost see my garden growing and blooming. There have been some lovely rains this week.
You know those dirt paths in parks and campus quads and the National Mall that crisscross the carefully laid out paved paths? I read that landscape architects call them desire lines. They are visual evidence of the places we really want to go, regardless of where the architects, in all their research and planning, think we should go. Some walkers begin those dirt paths, others use those forged by others, and many of us want to create or at least use them but follow the "right" ones instead. I suspect that no matter how many desire lines get paved over time, someone will make another one. I also suspect the desire to be outside the lines is strong, but many of us are afraid to step off the path. Although I rarely follow the renegade paths, I can see that my decisions over the second half of my adult life to do what I am supposed to do--or thought I would do--end at paths laid out through the grass. I stay on each path I establish long enough to feel safe and comfortable and then I start watching for the next one calling to me. I wait for kairos, the right fertile time. One day I, too, will leave on a jet plane or in a car and cut a renegade path to points west.
The last of the old leaves blow off the trees as the garden comes back to life. I wonder if it can get any more beautiful--everything is so fresh and new as it emerges from its hibernation.
And then the cone flower blooms, and the yarrow, and I find the first bloom of the Purple Heart after the rain. The annuals increase in girth and bloom, and the ferns and hostas get bigger. The grove of banana trees is already as tall as I am, which is as tall as it got all last season. I observe the baby birds visiting the feeder and I pick fresh basil and the first squash for my dinner. Does life get any better than this? I sit on my porch in the Adirondack chair with my Zinfandel and I am content.
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson
5 years ago