Being Idle

After a fortunate two years, the dreaded illness finally entered our house in June after my husband’s business trip. And while we both managed to stay out of the hospital and recover from our initial symptoms, other lingering problems require us to rest and recuperate, a state of being neither of us has the patience for. With flower and vegetable gardens in full swing during a drought, the timing couldn’t be worse.

The fatigue they always talk about is real, requiring us to take turns with the yard duties depending on who has the energy or not. Either way, by high noon, we are relegated to sitting on the patio and watching plants and wildlife do their thing, whether we approve or not. This inactivity has become an exercise in Zen meditation, where nothing is good or bad, it just is. We are too tired to intervene.

Among our observations I’m sad to say that there are fewer pollinators at our house this year, although the lightening bugs are back in force rising up like little satellites of hope at dusk. On a positive note, wrens have finally built a nest in the wren house I put up that sat empty last year. And the bluebirds are back, always a symbol of happiness when they flash their beautiful blues. The rabbits have been quite brazen this year, particularly a buck we call Bad Bunny who was with us last summer. We know it’s still him because he’ll come right up to you, arrogantly munching our clover with a look that says “Yeah, so what are you going to do about it?”

Friends and neighbors have been very kind to us during quarantine, offering to bring us food and run errands. For the most part, we enjoy staying home and sitting out in our garden, comforted by the sense of community offered and counting ourselves lucky even though June hasn’t been the happiest of months.

The bluebirds are here to remind us that joy can still be found if you are waiting for it.

The Bees Knees

Here in suburbia, I have not seen one of you little workaholics in quite some time. I greet you like an old friend while you flirt with the sedum on my patio.

I envy how you co-mingle so easily with your more vicious brethren. Truth be told, I’ve had quite a summer avoiding the underground digs of some terrible yellow-jacketed squatters, calling dibs next to the water faucet, of course.

I’ve been chased down the street by hornet gangsters whose only joy in life is to inflict vengeance. Can’t wait for winter to wreak havoc on their paper shanties.

This year’s lack of butterflies breaks my heart, but you have returned unheralded, courteous, all business. You may not be the show, but you make it happen.

The welcome mat is always out for you, honey.