Earlier this year, a friend asked:
How do you measure time?
I did not miss a beat. I measure time in flowers. From the fading amaryllis bulbs in January to bloom-heavy limbs of a Christmas cactus in December, I have something sprouting, flowering, or dropping petals all year long. Inside and outside.
Based on the square footage of the gardening center at any big box store in America, I am sure I am not alone in this. Usually, sometime in March, I begin to question my life choices, wonder why and how it is I never got a degree in horticulture, and imagine that my husband and I could run a kick-ass nursery when he “retires” and needs something to keep himself busy. (Nice of me to be looking out for him, I know.) Then, of course there is the flip side.
Sometime in August, the flowers I have so faithfully tended begin to defy all my efforts at “control”. They overtake walking paths, they brush up against the bottom branches of my carefully placed young trees, they climb, tangle, sprawl – they go wild. And I? I get tired. I begin counting the days until I can cut, pull, pile and clean out the beds, making way for pumpkins and scarecrows and straw bales.
At last, that time is here and I am READY!
But, the birds and insects who share my yard are not. As long as it remains warm enough, migrating creatures linger in my yard, getting, possibly, their last full meal before they make a very perilous journey. I remind myself that as much as I love my gardens, I do this work because my yard is important habitat for birds and insects. So, I wait. Longer than I want to. And, in the waiting, I find enough reasons to be patient…
And reasons to write…
When I’ve seen my last fat hummingbird of the season, I know it’s time to take down the feeders, untangle the vines, and set out pumpkins. All the while I will hope those little specks of emerald and ruby have had a warm tailwind and a safe landing. And I know to look for them again next spring – when my azaleas are in bloom!
Happy fall to you! Go out and see what creatures are lingering in your space. Then head on over to the Poetry Friday roundup at Rose’s blog, Imagine the Possibilities