This column originally appeared September 16, 2011, in issue 1935.
Despite the date (September 7) and the crazy cool, wet summer we’ve had, I just cut some roses in my garden. The scarlet blossom with velvety petals is the stuff of Valentine’s Day ads. The pink ones are the floribunda style typical of hardy Zone 2 shrub roses: flatter profile, fewer petals, and more loosely wrapped than a florist’s rose from Ecuador.
Also tucked into the small white vase are two buds from a resilient and very prickly little shrub rose that has spread in the garden and is growing in the crevices around the pavers. The leaves are chartreuse and the scent is heady. This beautiful, aromatic addition to my desk reminds me of the small joys. Last week it was the Stargazer lilies that perfumed the entire house.
This whole day is a lesson in mindfulness. I wish we were harvesting the crops and getting them in from the field and closer to the bank account. It’s very difficult for this farmer’s wife to feel the hot sun on her face and be cutting roses when she’d rather be rumbling up and down the fields, operating one of the combines. But when I’m getting anxious about harvest not starting, It’s important that I stop and chill.
I’ve been popping in and out of the house today, taking photos of the work happening outside. Two Mennonite workers are adding a hopper bottom and aeration unit to one of our old grain bins. It involves the use of a crane to lift the bin, remove the rotted wooden floor, and add another ring of steel to the bottom before finally positioning it atop the hopper stand. Then it will be moved by crane to its rightful place in the row of 11 bins.
I wish two-year-old Grady was here to see all this manly machinery-type action. Because he’s not, I’m taking photos. I will, in great animated detail, show him the pictures and tell him the story next time he visits. And there is more action to come. In the next few days, four grain bins, including a huge 5,800-bushel one, will be moved the two miles from the neighbour’s to our yard. That will be a sight. Each one will be picked up and laid down on its side for transport. The local power company has already measured the height of the overhead lines and determined that no escort is required. Thank goodness for fewer complications.
So today I practice (pretend?) being patient. I look at the four adolescent cats and wonder why their long-suffering but awesome mother hasn’t weaned them yet. She has not even taught them to hunt for themselves, so It’s time for some tough love. With a visiting tom, before long she will be pregnant again.
I pluck a whirlybird samara from the maple tree in the yard and remember my youth; one more thing to share with my city grandson, a.k.a. ?The Sponge.? Not combining? It’s all a state of mind, from where I sit.