knee deep in weeds

notes on a simple life

because i want to

There is a lantern in the soul, which makes your solitude luminous. - John O'Donohue

why i come back early ::
i missed this space
picking my camera up daily balances me
(so does writing )
this spider was sitting in such great light
i need this space more than i need a break
i spent the time on break making lists in my journal
it fits me right now
because i want to . . .

summer time

“summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. for those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. you can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
Deb Caletti

I can remember, as a child, that feeling the last day of school brought; the possibilities those three whole months ahead held, seemed endless. Suddenly there was time to do nothing and everything. There was the family vacations to look forward to, but for the most part my summer days as a child were my own. We kids were left to our own devices, allowed to play in the neighborhood with friends, maybe walk to the “little store” for an ice cream bar, or head to the creek to wade and catch crawdads. We were free, without parent’s or teachers hovering over us or planning our days. We built forts, road our bikes, played made up games and seemed to only come in when we were hungry or had to use the bathroom. Life was simple, full of anticipation and unhurried.

Even my parents slowed down. Or so it seemed to me. We ate outside, where my folks would often sit until it was almost dark talking, while I played with friends until everyone was finally called inside. We also ate differently in the summertime. Sometimes we would have nothing more than ears and ears of fresh corn on the cob or fresh picked strawberries on homemade biscuits. If the weather was scorching hot, my mother would pack us a picnic for dinner and we would head to one of the small lakes around our home, where my dad and I would swim to cool off.

Sometime there were overnight visits from out of town family who were on their way to further destinations. During those visits there were cousins to play with and sleepovers, often outside in sleeping bags under the stars. Summer was also the time that both my Grandmother’s would come for a visit (at different times). I loved how my father’s mother drank tea and called my father Bobby and my mother’s mother always allowed me to sleep with her. She smelled like flowers and taught me that the hollowed out hole, left by taking the seeds out of a cantaloupe, was just the perfect size for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

If I am honest the past several summers have seemed like nothing but work to me. Too much gardening, too much watering; the feeling of being tied down with chores and obligations. Somewhere along the way I lost the pure joy of summertime. This summer will be no different work wise, as we are working hard to place our home, of 32 years, on the market to sell. The possibility of putting things in storage until we can find a new home, overwhelms me a bit for sure. But I see so clearly that this is my summer to put in motion some much needed changes. It will be a summer full of possibilities. The summer that opens its door and lets me walk free.

So all of this reminiscing is to tell you I am taking a break from this space for the summer. I am hoping the break will either make or break my commitment to this blog.

In the meantime I will be swimming in a little lake close by on hot summer evenings, while he and the dog watch. We will be eating simply, mostly from the bounty of the harvest I will take from a garden space that has taught and given me so much over the years. I will be filling all the vases with flowers, flowers I have tended for years, putting them in every room to be enjoyed. I also will clear off bookshelves, purge closets, downsize kitchen gadgets and try my best to convince him to do the same with the garage. I look forward to the one camping trip we have planned to Northern Idaho, where I hope to connect with cousins and swim in the lake of my childhood. I will go to bed early, and wake with the birds. I will do what I need to do to empty out the past in my being, to make space in my heart for whatever this new chapter might hold for us. I am ready, a bit scared, and excited.

I will still pick up my camera most days and post here and there on IG, but mostly I will take photos for me, printing them to fill the walls of our new home. And, I will still be over on ViewFinders every six weeks or so, where I hope you will drop in to say hi.

I wish you all a beautiful summer, full of time well spent. I hope you have moments to do nothing and moments full of laughter, love and wonder.

I will see you in the fall . . .

xooox


“She thought, If I’m crazy, I may as well do what I feel like doing. No point being crazy if you have to worry all the time about what people are thinking anyway.”
― Marilynne Robinson, Lila

I often agonize over what it truly is I feel like doing at times,
I wrangle with roadblocks, feeling judgement and guilt, and a bit crazy.
but as I stroll, camera in hand, I find beauty all around me.
some of it begs to be captured; keeping me inside the moment,
following light, free of scrutiny and accusations.


freedom

“The more uncertain I have felt about myself, the more there has grown in me a feeling of kinship with all things.” - Carl Jung

the week is full of first; we eat the first broccoli from the garden along with
a few strawberries, lettuce, and kale. the first organic cherries arrive at
the farm stand in town, along with fresh garlic and zucchini.
the roses (that were spared from the deer) put on their first flush,
and i cut the columbine down to the ground. the air conditioning kicks on, as
a heat wave hits us and rain is scarce, so i water something
everyday. the dog drinks from the end of the hose and digs a bit in the dirt
to find a cool place to lay come late afternoon.

summer is here in earnest. i try to stay up until dark, but prefer to get up
with the sun, and so i stop fighting the early bedtime, knowing the morning
will bring a choir of bird songs, fresh air, and time to just be. i understand how important
this time has become and allow myself to bask in the balm of its soothing medicine.

i feel a sense of freedom, along with a sense of peace as i stop resisting feelings and
emotions. but i also trip over memories and stumble into old behavior.
i don’t scold myself, but rather bush myself off and start over. sometimes
all it takes is a reframing of my perspective and trust, along with love,
for compassion to emerge.

i grasp that being aware is more than noticing the buttercups;
for awareness is fluid, and if i allow it to flow without restrictions or the need to
control it, beauty is everywhere. i give myself permission to be happy, to fully engage and love life,
even when things are hard and don’t go my way. . .

i have started back up with a daily photo, you can find them in the day-to-day tab up top,
if you are so inclined. i missed the practice, i missed the documenting of each day.


i took this with my 24mm lens. i love the point of view.

and that tongue!

have a beautiful week,

xooox

petticoats in the garden


It always seemed to me that the herbaceous peony is the very epitome of June.
Larger than any rose, it has something of the cabbage rose's voluminous quality; and when it finally drops from the vase, it sheds its petticoats with a bump on the table, all in an intact heap, much as a rose will suddenly fall,
making us look up from our book or conversation, to notice for one moment the death of what had
still appeared to be a living beauty.
- Vita Sackville-West

the peonies open ruffled and brilliant,
their jeweled tones catching both light and shadows.
i leave them to dance in the garden; beauty for all creatures
to enjoy. wondering if the the birds take note
as they flutter among the garden or perch on a feeder.
peonies never last long enough, and soon their ruffled
petticoats will look like that of a toddler’s, disheveled and
rumbled, leaving us yearning for next June.


the gaps

I have always loved the gaps, the spaces between things, as much as the things. I love staring, pondering, mulling, puttering. I love the times when someone or something is late-there's that rich possibility of noticing more, in the meantime poetry calls us to pause. There is so much we overlook, while the abundance around us continues to shimmer, on its own.
- Naomi Shihab Nye

the weeks is busy and my mind whirls with a constant reminder to step back,
and breath. i yearn at times, for the days when i did not have so many choices or options. when i trusted my gut more, and with that trust, seemed to know myself a little better. i dig out my old journal and start writing again and slowly i come into focus.


Sometimes there’s no one to listen to what you really might like to say at a certain moment. The paper always listens.- Naomi Shihab Nye


i walk the yard with my camera in the evening light, my head among the swirling bees, who are busy among the raspberry patch. i play ball with the dog, order film and a new camera and find an abundance of beauty everywhere i gaze.


Being alive is a common road. It's what we notice makes us different.
- Naomi Shihab Nye


have a beautiful weekend.
xoxox

i do my best to listen inward, taking time each morning to just be. i allow for feelings to rise and emotions to flow; giving them space without questions or judgement. one day however, fear grabs hold and gets the better of me and i resort to old ways. but i regroup, apologies (not for my feelings, but for the way i handled them), and find peace within my own words. this feels amazing.


i go to the gym and row, walking out of class, spent and feeling strong. i question why i am not there most days? wondering what holds me back?

20190606-_DSC6191.jpg

a new project

“As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.”
- Calvin from Calvin and Hobbs

A few years back my husband bought me a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant film camera. I have played around with it a bit, but not used it nearly as much as I thought I would. So when I saw a couple of friends on IG, who were doing projects with their cameras this summer, I decided to play along. One photo a day, for the month of June, but I am having fun with it, so who knows how long I might go. I will be posting the photos on IG and here, under the project tab.

Summer seems like the perfect time to do something just for fun! And, I am hoping it will help me become better acquainted with this sweet little camera.


over the weekend

“Because our gardens are a part of nature, they never look exactly the same twice.”
― Shoukei Matsumoto, A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind

a bit of deadhead and weeding, a garden bed full of rhubarb, a snake sighting, a gin and tonic in the afternoon, steak fajitas for dinner, evening light, and the joy of watching three deer walk up our road ( who later, in the middle of the night, came back to eat all the rose buds off the nine roses in our front yard).

But, I am doing my best to let let that rose part go . . .


Ladies Mantle

“Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o'clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Related to the rose, Ladies Mantle is said to have magical healing properties. She grows close to the ground and surrounds herself with tiny, yellow, star like flowers. It is said that you can find both bravery and fortitude from within, when she is present. She reseeds herself freely and finds a way to flourish in the tiniest spot of soil. She sparkles after a good downpour and last forever in a cut bouquet.


a rare treasure

“People could surprise you. Not just their kindness, but also their sudden ability to express things the right way.” 
― Elizabeth Strout

a long conversation with a dear friend leaves me full of gratitude.
to be heard is such a gift.
but to listen to her wise words, to be privy to her wisdom. . .
that is a rare and beautiful treasure.

have a beautiful weekend


the guest house

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."
— Rumi

The week is full of self-made barriers and I do my best to bury myself within the garden. I divide perennials, plant some herbs, move a rose and plant a bed of cosmos. I poke pole bean seeds into holes around two tepees, and sow what I know is way too much zucchini. I hill the potatoes and pick rhubarb and contemplate how I am still here, tending this yard, and question if it is by choice or a barrier I have built.

I am thankful for the sun on face, record breaking heat, and the need to water for it soothes my soul. I discover teeth holes in the thick, black hoses in the vegetable patch. “These must make grand chew toys,” I tell him as he patches them. For now I coil the heavy hoses up on the fence when I am finished, but that will get old come summer so I start looking for one of those roll up things online.

Mother’s Day comes and goes without much fanfare. I think of my mom and hear from all my kids. The dog and I sit on the futon outside on the patio for most of the day. I read and watch the birds while he patrols the yard, keeping it free of squirrels. The two of us even nap a bit. He seems to sense my mood and does not leave my side much. The day is melancholy and I do my best to be kind to myself. Finally I go in and take a long, hot bath, eat the last piece of rhubarb blondies, and head to bed.

I speculate about why it is that some days are just so hard. Why fighting depression is an evasive saga at times, taking over my life. But I am learning not to fight it, but rather just allowing it to be, with kindness and curiosity. I take note of the feelings inside of me, labeling them without judgement. I pinpoint the heaviness behind my eyes and within my heart and don’t question it. For when I am able to do this I find their grip eases and the bleakness does not last as long.

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor...Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
― Rumi

Morning breaks and I feel a bit more like myself. I make a latte, tuck a treat into my pocket and head outside where the dog is already waiting for me on the futon. Together we watch the yard come to life. He noses around my pocket until I give over the treat, and then rests his head in my lap as we both drink in a new day. It is not long before a squirrel threatens the peacefulness of the garden and he is off. I get up, grab my empty latte mug and come inside, grateful that there are things I want do today. . .