I blame the purple pansies. The ones I ordered from my local nursery and that someone else kindly picked out for me. Once here, the flowers had to be watered and adored daily, of course, which required me stepping just outside my door. But after I finished sprinkling their little faces and set down my sage-green watering can, I noticed I was still lingering there.
And so—I’ve been tiptoeing back to a refreshing, magical pastime, taking in Simple Pleasures from the vantage point of my porch chair.
Magical is not a word I use often. But it’s been some time since I’ve felt drawn to write. And while living in a perpetually closed system, these outdoor spells have lent themselves to some bountiful journaling in my fat, peach notebook; that flow is a gift.
Other times, the view allows me a drop of bliss. I slide my metal flower boxes across the banister to obstruct my face from the neighbor’s view, and unreservedly stare agape at the evolving clouds. I’m four-years-old again, lying on my cornflower-blue quilt in my humid backyard, growing warm and drowsy as I cloud-watch.
Some years back, L.L. Barkat’s words inspired me to sit outdoors for a few minutes a day. Each evening, for over a month, I’d pop outside, intending to spend about 20 minutes in the yard, and usually come back after 40. I believe I saw more sun-dives and sailing stars that month than in the prior five years combined.
Once outside, I was soothed by the stillness. The lack of wanting.
And then, there were the sightings—
A familiar row of gray and tan ramblers crowned in the almost ridiculous regality of a golden cloud-stack.
The clustered goodness of a lavender whorl’s buds, tightly-knit, slightly overlapping.
The sunset casting its golden hand toward the evergreen treeline, transforming it from black-green to broiler-orange.
All of this set to the soundtrack of my metal wind chimes’ low tones, and those melodious birds I’d often read about.
My predominate takeaway was, This was always out here?
Yes, and thankfully, it still is.
Like many in this bizarre season, I’m physically apart from loved ones outside my home. At the same time, I’m quite tight with my dear family members inside our snug house. (I do wonder how many miles I’ve walked along the circuit from: bedroom/office, to living room/gym, to kitchen/schoolroom, and back again.)
I’m ready for a fresh perspective. A bit of the outdoors’ calm. So I will sit under the sun, which continues to be exactly where I’d expect it; gaze up at a towering conifer that’s clearly been growing here longer than me; and wait for a bumblebee to come focus its puffball-self on the opening corolla of a lavender spear.
Several nights ago, as we loaded the dishwasher, I heard the wild jangle of chimes outside my kitchen window. The thunk of the chime’s clapper smacked the house and raised my eyebrows.
“Well, I obviously have to go journal out there,” I said to my husband.
I poured myself a steaming cup of decaf, and plunked down in the patio chair. The scent of damp sod was thick as I watched the work of the wind-sweeps.
From my left to my right, I saw the gusts run pathways through a neighbor’s lush grass tips, then lift the razzled waves of my own brown hair off my shoulders, and slide out through another neighbor’s silver and blue pinwheel, spinning it into a cheery flash.
I looked across the various property lines in the gloaming and scrawled, We share the wind.
Photo by Nathalie, Creative Commons license via Flickr. Post by Bethany Rohde.