July 14, 2019
Despite the heat,
I have been outdoors
For the last two days
The sunny dappled garden of my days
I even dug in the dirt
To plant the already sprouting
I offered them a better home
Than their pantry basket
Did you know
If given the chance
They make a lovely vine
The tendrils are delicate
The leaves decorous
And the green is decidedly delightful
So it was
That I was
Tired and sore
And, I almost did not walk last evening
I changed my mind at the last
And went ahead anyway
How happy I am for it
For whatever carried me to there
Away from my to dos
And into the fields
Tended by their own dear sky
A wind blew cool from the north
A welcome respite in a Texas July
Snowy whites and threatening grays
It surprised me
And caught me
In a bubbly sparkling rain
How still I stood
To a thousand fairies
Dancing from leaf to leaf
In joyful innocence
Open the eyes of your heart
Their silvery wings whispered to me
And so I turned
From beneath the cover
And protection of the juniper
An enchanting bow of faded colors
Filling the air with hope
And my dreams with surrender
I imagine it to be a circle
And wonder where it travels to
Beyond where I can see
Into a brightest elsewhere
Of love’s eternal hide and seek
How very grateful I am
That wonder called to me
And I listened…
Behind every poem is a fullness of thought. So it is with this one. On a July day, I planted sweet potatoes. I walked to a hilltop where rain caught me. I marveled at a rainbow arching over field, forest and home. And, I listened.
Recently I read a small book about cultivating silence. Thinking about silence suddenly makes you keenly aware of all the sounds that you hear. Silence reminds me to listen.
Even though everyone, including me is bestowing Happy Autumn wishes, it is still summer in Texas. It’s nearly October and this very minute I hear the sound of the sprinkler rhythmically turning under the holly tree, splashing everything in its path.
Hummingbirds are performing a brilliant “cirque de soleil”. I am the lucky soul with a free front row seat! They twitter and hum as they playfully zip-zing and then rest for a time among the prickled leaves. The hummers eat more in September than at any other time of the year. I think it’s because they’ll leave me soon. They’re fattening up before their long journey. I wonder what their tropical getaway looks like and whether they miss the holly tree.
Those sweet potatoes that I planted are so cheerful! If I can keep Jack and Dobby from romping through them they will grow all the way into December. I giggle that I find so much to love about them. You see, I’ve never liked to eat sweet potatoes. When I was a child I couldn’t stand them no matter how deliciously you dressed them up. Even marshmallows made no difference to me.
Gosh Mimi, those sweet potatoes smell good.
Would you like some, suzanne?
No thank you.
In truth I probably made a squinchy face and said Blech as they were heaped on my plate. If only I had had Bo back then. He would have sat blissfully at my elbow scarfing down every yucky bite I snuck to him. But, that’s a story for another day, aptly titled – The Dog Eats Half My Food!
Now, I eat sweet potatoes twice a year. They’re fine. But, I will never be a fan.
However, I do love to watch them grow. They create a twirling elegant vine. In autumn I buy them fresh at farmers’ roadside markets. Some I cook. The rest wait to be planted the following spring. I know, July is nowhere near spring. I was incredibly late this year. Nevertheless, in the ground they went.
I didn’t have very high hopes for them. After all, we were heading into the hottest driest part of the year. Who plants anything in July?! This year, I did. And, you know what? They have grown above and beyond my expectations. They are the happiest little patch of heart shaped leaves and curling tendrils that you can possibly imagine. They have spread like a low lush forest. You never can tell who might be playing in there…
Back to that July afternoon –
There was rain! Fluffy clouds rolled in and surprised me. It hinted of champagne. A cork joyously popped!! Bubbles spilled over the edges and the sky winked at me as if there was something special about this moment. And there I was caught right in the lovely center of it. I can still hear the drops cascading around me in my secluded hilltop waterfall.
There was a rainbow! Have you ever noticed how silent they are. Not a single sound. They come and go without ever crying out or begging to be seen. How many do we miss because we are occupied in thought or in doing. But this one…I heard. In its own gentle voice it rhymed and sang and invited me to dance. The colors gathered me and sailed me to far away places…into enticing dreamscapes as I wondered where its other half might be. I stayed and stayed not wanting to miss a single tender hue or precious step.
And, then there were sweet potatoes. They lay quietly in their dark underground cavern listening…to the earth and the rain and the colors of the rainbow telling them All that they would become…in time.
The last few months have been parched. I don’t have an answer. Sometimes life is like that. Dry and dusty. You wait, for rain and for hope to come. In the meantime, you do what you can. Turn on the sprinkler. Enjoy the hummers. Be someone’s rainbow. And, listen to the sweet potatoes grow…
May your spirit find refreshment in listening to the soft and silent things that touch your heart.
ellie894 September 29, 2019
Note there are no photos of actual sweet potatoes or casseroles in this post because…you know, reasons. 😉