I have been amazed at the number of bees in our gardens for the past several weeks. I’ve learned some interesting things about myself this summer. First, I love gardening. I love it so much more than I imagined. I could spend several hours a day working in the yard if I was in a stage of life that allowed it. I find it very therapeutic and renewing.
Second, I never thought I’d be able to work in my gardens along side the bees without being the least bit tense, but suddenly I’m not at all bothered by them. I remember the first time I harvested my lavender many years ago, how I had to take a deep breath and squash my worry about the bees buzzing all around the plant. Now I just work alongside them. If one lands where I’m cutting, I just move to the other side of the plant until it’s done. Instead of my fear there’s a sense of common purpose. Strange.
This year I cannot visit my flowers without also discovering bees busy at work. My gladiolus have also attracted a hummingbird this year. I had no idea hummingbirds love gladiolus, but they most certainly do. You can bet I’m planting more next year. I’m living in this funny place between joy at the continuing harvest and excitement to rip things out for the year and plant for next year.
I wish the bees had been here when my cherry tree was covered with blossoms, but I feel honored to have them so hard at work in my yard. The sunflowers now hang heavy with weight and I really must learn how to dry and harvest them.
All in due time. I have only a few days until my family arrives for my brother’s wedding this weekend. I am so excited to see them all! It will be a wonderful weekend and I know it will all work out, yet I have this gnawing tension eating away at my stomach. There is so much more to do than I can accomplish in three days, yet I don’t want to cross anything off the list yet.
I’m waiting for a package to arrive in the mail so I can complete something I’m determined to finish. It should have been here by now, but it’s not, and I feel stressed about it. Silly, isn’t it, to stress over things I cannot control.
I should have been cleaning today, but I made another batch of salsa. The tomatoes wouldn’t have lasted much longer, and how can I plant all those plants and pray for a good harvest but neglect the fruit when the Lord gives it to me? You just can’t do that. So I spent the morning chopping vegetables. (At least I did it before I tore my fingernail helping my daughter assemble something, right? I don’t want to chop onions and peppers right now!)
Yesterday the house was clean. Right now I sit in a cluttered room with children all wanting to do different things, trying to find a missing homework assignment, get one daughter ready for soccer practice and another ready for her game. I’m trying to convince two children that now really is the right time to practice the piano while praying that another will stick with his homework until it’s done. Dinner? I’ll have to think about that later.
I marvel lately at the vast difference between life on paper and life as it plays out. On paper I feel like I can get it all done, but I never plan for the crying baby or the arguing teenager. This weekend I said to my oldest daughter, “One of these days we’ll have a day that works like clockwork. A day things happen the way we plan for them to, and we get to everything that needs doing. Just you wait. Someday we’ll have one.” She laughed, and then I said, “I suppose we’d better wait on it, though, and save it for your wedding day or something wonderful. It would be a shame to waste it on soccer, wouldn’t it?” And we both laughed.
This is it. This is life. All the things we plan for jumbled up with the things we don’t. I want to live in the moment but be prepared for what’s around the bend both in a few days and in a few years. And in the end I suppose I’ll be grateful for the jumble, grateful that it’s taught me to compromise, to prioritize, to savor the moment for what it is because it will surely change in 5 minutes.
But really, I wouldn’t mind a slow day or two and a baby that is done crying because her molars are coming in. Or a teenager who would say, “Sure Mom!” for a few hours or bathrooms that stayed clean for more than ten minutes. Please understand this post is not a complaint. It’s just a week and most of what I’m worried about won’t matter in a few more days. Yet today it feels big, and it’s something I really care about.
So I feel busy. Really busy. But whatever I accomplish, the weekend will come and it will all work out great. With or without marker on the walls.