left over whimsy.
Today was one of those days, one of those days that stretched on for miles and miles before me. in a good way. Today I was served up a heaping plate of left-over whimsy, only in this case, the whimsy just so happened to be of the everyday variety. Everyone knows that is the best kind. and what can I say about this weather! and this sunshine. and this sky! Break my heart already, why don't you? Well, I've officially decided that this is the reason I love this time of year. I don't love it for the flip flops, strawberries and sunglasses, or the sleep-with-the-window-open-nights. I love it best, and maybe only, when the sky wears every shade of blue in the box. I love it when my arms are bare and I'm planting perennials. and it just smells like a new start. It smells like a familiar beginning, like something is blooming all the live long day. That was today, in short, it was perfect. Perfect weather. Perfect company. Dang good food. Swoony finds at the antique store. Even the bathrooms were surprisingly tidy, and I'm a girl who can appreciate a thing like that. So, tomorrow may sequester all of us with rain, But today? Today I drank tea in the sun. with people I love. I left my worries on it's hook. I worked and I played and it was hard to tell the difference, because it was just that kind of day.
Tonight I think and nob my head. My world last summer spanned only as far as the length of my arms, and my arms are ridiculously short. to short to hold the gift of three hazy, lazy months, lined up like daisies waiting to be plucked. To do that, to fully hold the gift of summer, it takes more than two hands. It takes certainty and innocence. It takes a soul able to see up past the clouds. It takes a heart with plenty of room to store up the sunsets. This summer I will spend within a hearts beat of my dreams, every minute. I will spend time in my garden, the place that sings me out of frustration and hugs me into hope has taught me that the better parts of the days are spent outside. reconfirming the universal belief that watermelon tastes best eaten outside, at night, in your pajamas.
We geared up. just enough to sweep out the remnants of a busy week and slowed down just enough to take in the glowy views from all sides. The truth is, I'm not exactly sure what's gotten into me these days. I've never been one to yammer on about minute to minutes or day to day, yet I can't seem to stop giving a play by play account of my life. I'm sure it is getting a bit boring, if not redundant.
Pulling out of the parking lot the entire thing tipped over! in the back of my car. when I opened the hatch, the planter, plants and dirt tumbled to the ground, as if in slow motion, while my sister tried to catch everything and mom looked on in disbelief. but right then? I knew it was good. even better. we replanted everything on the side of the highway with cars zooming past and people staring, honking and smiling, while we laughed hysterically the entire time. Each scoop of dirt ramped up our momentum and by the time we finished planting, we were both five years old and our hands, though filthy, fit together so well. and now. now it means so much more. there is a story. a memory. history. I walk past this so many times a day, and every time, my heart nods along.
The moral of the story? It's true, when you see something you really love and it touches your heart, you should probably buy it. You just never know when your garden might cry out for more whimsy.
That's the good news, the bad news is that this time of years happens to coincide with all summer weediness. But weeding is nothing if not therapeutic. I can attest first-hand how digging fingers into dirt and yanking stuff out by the roots is like a spit-shine for the soul. It can cause me to day dream for hours on end. until life pulls me back.
So, the weeds might be winning and the grass a little long. it happens. Sometimes it's just nice, spending the day hiding away from life. I'm not one to protest hard work and every day, but those days that we spend together, the three of us, circle around me like a forever hug. I am blanketed soft and cuddly at the thought of these times, I am storing them up for the months ahead. This is life. This is our new life. plunking down money for flowers that will inevitably die. Dropping strawberries, yogurt and stinky cheeses thoughtlessly into my shopping cart. Trolling websites for designs to wear forever on our hearts, and especially on Sundays. I never noticed before all the summer songs, but they have me determined to wrap my arms around the things I already have, the things that are every bit as special and infinitely more unexpected.
It turns out, you can feel the warmth even without the sun shining. see the beauty without looking at the flowers flanking the garden. I feel just as happy in last year's colors. good feelings are good feelings, whether planned or spontaneous. and from where I sit right now? Exciting seems a bit overrated. I'm spending my evenings gearing down, putting salads on the menu three nights out of five. The air around me is easy and slow, and I scratch that baking itch whenever I can.
Truth be told, this search for contentment is not quaint or idyllic. Those feeling from a few months ago still show up like clockwork and I should be so wise as to toss them aside, pages unbent. But I take a peek, of course I do. I quick think in my head. Oh, the damage has already been done. But for reasons I still can't articulate, now is not the time for forgetting. I'm sure that day will come around again. I'll not be a forever-stranger to new thoughts and feelings. The nights are still hard. But the day leading up to the night? Dreamy enough for the both of them, while the air is mellow and sweeps through me like a song.
Today, right now, I know that this is right. It is right to feel my heart in a brand new way. It's right for me to look closer at gifts that can't be bought. It's right for me to bake muffins in my kitchen with the windows cracked open just enough to hear the songs of left over whimsy.