There are pumpkins turning orange in the garden overflow. It was a volunteer from the compost that I decided to entertain. Here we are moving into the hottest part of summer and I have the promise of fall growing wild, and I do mean wild. Pumpkins are monstrous plants. I can’t touch the vine with my bare skin because I have some sort of allergy to it. Squash and cucumber, too. Not sure why that is but it’s just always been that way. Thankfully I am immune to tomato rash because I get waist-high in those.
At this point my flower beds are overrun with crabgrass and weedy vines. I try to ignore them as I walk past. I know they’re begging for room to grow but it feels futile in August. Maybe I’ll rally some strength and give them one last grooming before fall. Sometimes I feel like I have to choose between keeping up with the inside or out. It’s nearly impossible to maintain both at the same time. For me, anyhow. This rings true for the internal/external soul work, too. So many outside demands; it’s real easy to neglect the inside. That is until it’s an unruly bed that begins to choke you a bit.
I’ve been admiring several butterflies in the garden this month. I call them Mariposa in my head because it seems more beautiful a word. The goldfinches dominate the sunflowers by shadowy morning, and the butterflies the zinnias in blazing afternoon sun. I will never tire of the wonder of such things. Never. The fact that the Monarch butterfly is going extinct makes me cherish it that much more.
I’ve been spending a good chunk of my time working on paying projects. I’m thankful, considering so many are not able to find work during this pandemic. But it’s been a little stretch for me having all the kids home and upping my hours. I have little motivation for cleaning and finishing house projects I’ve left unfinished. I think I need to finish a project just so I can feel the gratification of closure. We don’t often find that sense in life. We live in present tense and first person. Most of our chapters are open-ended and evolving. I think when I finish a project it gives me the pleasure of finished. How often do we get to really finish anything? Most of the time we are endlessly working toward a goal that is unto another goal. Painting the last cabinet door or the remaining trim gives me some sort of peace. I’m notorious for starting and never finishing and so it’s a bit maddening when all I want is something to be complete. That’s on me, though. Something I certainly should be working on, even though I am the most unfinished project around here.
Not long ago I spent some time in the river with my soul sisters. We washed off the grime of the grind and talked real talk. Floated a bit and felt the weightlessness of hope buoy up. We’ve been talking a lot about futility and hope. In a world where everyone seems hot with rage, it felt good to cool our skin. Couple that with weekly creek time and I think I can manage the sticky of August. Last night, right before a light sprinkling set in, the air was so thick I said aloud, “Just wring it out, already.” I have often wanted to pinch the clouds until they cry. Only when the humidity painfully edges on a rain that would cool. I enjoyed the sunset with a refreshing breeze blowing me in the hammock. That’s how unexpected kindness feels. Such a gentle kiss on a furrowed, sweaty brow. Thank you for your pockets of kindness, summer. This girl is most grateful.