We don’t get many days of it in the south. A few pleasant evenings before the humidity comes to suffocate us for 5, 6, or 7 months.
But I love to sweat, outside, hands dirty from the soil. I love to put new plants in the earth and watch them take off in the early days of the growing season.
Vibrant reds and pinks were my choices this year. A little orange here, some green there, some purple for good measure.
Little mixed pots of joy. Happiness. Color a sight for sore eyes after the deadness of winter, or what little we had of one. Just enough to kill the plants, but not enough to kill the mosquitoes.
The birds are back. They sing their happy morning songs. And soon, my favorite sound of summer will echo over the evening pastures: the whippoorwill.
My patio is once again my morning and evening oasis. A blessed retreat from stress and noise. I’m sitting there now, basking in the sunshine. Coffee in the mornings, wine in the evening.
I’m a spring baby. Even when the pollen brings my eyes to the point of swelling shut.
The woods are becoming alive again and seeing all the greenness is like witnessing a rebirth.
My flower bed is full of hereditary blooms. Generations before me planted the bulbs that would eventually beget my own. I wonder if my great grandmother can see them. If she’s breathed a blessing on them. It certainly seems so.
The crepe myrtles get bigger. My husband and I planted these trees to line our driveway and have tended them and watched them like children. We have yet to have really “wow” blooms. But the trunks are getting thicker, showing the maturity that they are strong. They’re going to make us proud. Eventually. I just know it.
Our house sits on 1 acre. But Lord, what an acre. We have pine trees that make us cuss, oaks that give us shade and are so large they just inspire awe to look up at them. A poplar tree that has been brutally pruned and cut back now houses a flower bed at its base that will be plush with coleus before the end of the summer.
When I first met my husband, he had not long bought the house we live in. His yard is of high priority. Every evening, when we first started dating, he was in the yard, picking up pine cones.
When he went to work in retail, it was above my ability to maintain the yard, the house, my child, and myself. So the yard suffered. It’s taken years to get it looking really good again. And I take zero credit for it. The man spends countless hours mowing, raking, trimming, and picking up all of the crap that falls into the yard from the slightest breezes off the pastures that surround our homestead.
Like anyone else, I sometimes find myself entranced with the allure of a new house. A new place. Something that is turnkey ready.
But I cannot describe the joy I felt when Reagan and I moved to this home to start our life as a family with Shey.
He and I have worked together on so many improvement projects. It’s not a showplace and there are endless lists of things we want to do around here. But that kinda keeps me happy. I like to be challenged. I don’t know what I would do if I felt like everything was just as we wanted it. It keeps us motivated.
And while it might not be something that other people are “wowed” to see, it wows me every day.
Every little (and not so little) project my husband and I have undertaken together has made this our home.
We’ve painted, planted, rearranged. We’ve enjoy working on things together. We’re a good team. Always have been.
I hope one day we’re the little old couple that spends their Saturday mornings in hats, tending our plants, still making this place what we want it to be. I hope my grandchildren love to look at my flowers as I tell them about where they came from, way up in the Mississippi Delta, a time and place they share a connection to.
Every year, spring reminds me that life is always renewing. There are bitter colds, strong winds, brutal storms. But life always renews.
Renewed in beauty, in hope, in song.
Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower, we will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind….”