This morning, before the rest of the household began to stir: Ken, Andy,the visiting grandson, and Tillie, the guest dog, I stepped out to retrieve the newspaper. The deluge from last night's heavy thunder shower left the sky washed a brighter blue and all the greens of the shrubs and neighboring trees sparkling. A feast for the eyes in every direction. I hated to go inside.
In the early hours, the pollen count was low and the smog almost non existant. A beautiful start to the morning that closes out one month in preparation for the next. The quiet was only broken by the crow guard warning the squirrel, creeping along the fence top, to clear out.
I've finished my newsletter and put it in the mail, the new column is turned in on time and this shiny day is open for business.
The uncovered big windows that let me share the outside as I take care of the routine indoor tasks keep drawing me to pause and watch all that's going on in the world of my yard. The blooming lavender that fills our front space is humming with working bees as the rising sun makes it's way over the trees to the east of us. The groundcover along the street edge is showing off with a carpet of bright yellow flowers but only attracts the attention of human passers-by.
The large, west facing window of the combination office/dining room calls me to look up first, past the nearby street, to the trees that tower above the neighbors' homes: fir, spruce, cedar, sweet gum and a rare spreading pine with football size cones. This morning, backed by blue, the tree silhouettes take front stage. At sunset, it's the sky that holds the attention.
I've placed my computer so my back is to that world, I'd never write if I didn't. The lavender on this side of the house is interspersed wih blooming daylillies in several shades of yellow, cream to bright gold, with the smaller plants in front. The earlier patches of daffodils along the sidewalk are finished now and covered by the bright reds, yellows and oranges of the low growing portulatica.
As the morning moves on and neccesity drives me to the ironing board, I let myself focus on the utility room windows, the only windows to the south facing back yard. The tiny green humming birds visiting the bright red blooms of the crocosemia are a special reward. The first I've seen this year. A pair of resident crows have been in charge of this yard for longer than I have lived here so other birds don't spend much time visitng. A brave jay or two dart in and out and the little junkos that chatter in the shrubs are about it.
That fenced space in back is the only area that gives us some privacy from nearby streets and is the most formal area of our yard. A shelter for outside eating, a small lawn and a garden space with berries, squash and tomatoes. It's less used than any yard we've ever had. A life style progression as children left to establish their own places and outside gatherings moved to parks and larger areas to accomodate growing families.
Although our outdoor space is smaller now, it's full and alive with color and activity. It's a space we can manage with our own power and still have time and energy for the other activities important to us. Bike rides, river bank walks, children and grandchildren activities, time with my mother and friends, and a few excurions into other parts of our world. It's our home base and the place we restore our souls and ourselves.
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