Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Morning Walkabout

Turning forty has honestly been a life-changer for me.   I didn't moan and weep over losing my youth, but I did get pretty philosophical and start thinking about how I wanted the second half of my life to be and what changes I needed to make in order for that to happen.  And I've made those changes, little by little, bit by bit, learning to weed out the bad stuff and embrace the good stuff and seek out help when I can't do it by myself.

One thing that I've found most difficult and rewarding is embracing the person that I am, no matter which person I happen to be on any given day.  There are such a lot of Heathers in me (bonus points for literary reference) and I am working to love them all (or at least tolerate them.)  Some days I'm goofy, some days I'm introspective, some days I'm intellectual, and some really FUN days, I'm all three of those things at once.  Or every five minutes.  Whhhheeeee!

Not as fun are the days when I'm anxious or sad or I go off track.  Those days make me more anxious or sad or off-tracked and I'm having to learn to pet myself a little and forgive myself, but it's hard. Staying on a schedule and trying to live in the moment help, and I've discovered that making time to go outside (even when it's cloudy, pissing pollen-laced rain, and windy) and puttering in the yard and garden really settles me.  I mean, I always knew I LIKED to be outside, but I'm not sure I've ever noticed before that it actually has a physical affect on me.  I've named these little spells "Walkabouts," because it's fun to think that each time I venture outside is a little journey in and of itself.

Yesterday, I went out before starting my inside chores.  I carried the little basket Kelly gave me years ago, my new tea mug, and my camera.

Here's what I saw:

Sassafras trees have blooms.  I don't think our little volunteer has ever bloomed until this year, and I'm just delighted and tickled by it. Must remember to make gumbo filé this year, although I don't like gumbo. Maybe I can use it to thicken lotions or salves?  I wonder if it would hurt sensitive skin.  

I have yet to actually stake or string up the sweet pea vines, and this one was all, "Forget you, lady.  I'll do this mess ON MY OWN."  Have you ever seen anything so delicate and so strong at the same time?

As soon as I rounded the corner of the house, a mockingbird told me EXACTLY what it thought of me.  Can you guess why?

This azalea bush has struggled been neglected for years.  The kids now use it for a fort/hideout/tunnel of awesomeness and I trimmed it back a bit last summer, and it apparently appreciates the attention.  More blooms to come?

I love this little canopied walkway in the side yard.  Although, to be honest, so does Frodo.  And his excretory system.  Ahem.  STILL, you know, oooooh, mysterious!  Lovely pool of light at the end!

Microgreens before they are washed.  Actually, these are thinned romaine, buttercrisp, spinach, mustard green, and arugula seedlings.  (And a few broccolis I spilled all over the end of one row.)  Getting all the dirt out of the roots was a big pain, and not worth the time it took to get my little bowl of tasty and spicy greens.  I think in the fall, I'll plant big squares of the greens and use scissors to thin them into rows to avoid the dirty roots.

Is it weird that this is one of my favorite pictures ever?  It's my harvest for the day:  microgreens hidden underneath a mound of sorrel and a bouquet of old-fashioned white irises and my tea cup, and so on the surface, not really all that fascinating.

But it's full of love of the garden and outside, and plans to brighten up the inside and nourish the people within.  It's

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