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If I go for a walk down the back road behind my house, and if I glance to my right, this is what I see. Beauty, no? On a sunny, warm, early summer day, it’s glorious. It’s a view.

If I take the time to walk through the field to actually get close to the water, braving ticks and snakes and general inconvenient ground cover, and if I stop and lean right close to the ground and push away the grass, I see more. The close up. The detail.

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Some days I’m fine with the walk and the glance and the glorious view. Some days, I need to get closer.

Either way, it’s a good day.

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I planted flowers last weekend. I mowed grass and raked last year’s soggy leaves and I loved every hot, sweaty minute of it. A whole Saturday spent outside, in the dirt.

Thing is, I love the beginning of the summer. I’ve got all kinds of energy and ambition and excitement when the green of the budding leaves is sweet and new and the dandelions haven’t yet gone to seed and the scent of spring lilac floats on fresh evening breezes.

Nothing about the season annoys me yet, because it’s all so newly beautiful and welcome.

A season newborn in sweetness, and who doesn’t love a brand new baby?

Tending is easy in the spring. Mid summer, though, when it’s hot and grasshoppers cannonball themselves around and the grass has faded and the weeds are creeping into my driveway and the house doesn’t cool off at night… then tending becomes more like plain old, unpoetic work.

One of my goals this summer is to tend my way through it. To attend, if you like, to the loveliness around me, even when it loses some of its fresh beauty. To enjoy the mellowing of the season, and the children and the tasks and the growing, as the days in and out themselves.

I intend to enjoy this summer. I hope you do, too.

The end of August and I feel a little sad. The end of summer and I feel the loss. As the leaves fall and the grass dries and the sun’s visits get shorter and shorter, I mourn just a bit. The way you mourn what has been loved. Summer’s funeral is near and this year I remember her in eulogy.

Summer was a sweet friend. She arrived fresh and green and full of promise. She offered long, hot days with very little wind, and nights of booming thunder and crazy skies of streaking light.  She was days of busy friendship, and days of quiet aloneness. She was a picture of transformation, captured gratefully, photo by photo. She was boys with all their cape-wearing adventures. She was baby birds and baby goats and baby grasshoppers and growing up.

She was flower and fruit and harvest.

She was loss and sorrow, and she was starting over.

She was plans carried through, and plans left unfinished.

She was what she was meant to be. She was a season in my life. She has filled my treasure box with memories and she will not be forgotten.

In his post last week, Dad talked about all the things that had been going on for Mom and him over the past while. Summer can get so crazy. Full of good things, but so, so busy.

This week for me is a quiet oasis. The children are away, doing summer things. This week, it’s just My Man and Me. Kinda strange, and I miss the boys. But it’s lovely, too. We’re enjoying spending time together, just the two of us. It’s a little practice, I guess, for the empty nest.

A honeymoon, said a friend. But we’re old now, you know, and romance looks a little different. When Lyndon left for work this morning he kissed me goodbye and then said, why don’t you take a nap this afternoon and maybe we’ll go out and do something this evening. The sad thing is, he’s right. Without a nap, I’d never make it past 10:00. Old.

Early this morning, as Lyndon and I walked out to the barn to feed the chickens and milk the goats, he commented on what a beautiful summer it has been so far. And it has. We haven’t made any big trips or had any grand adventures. It’s been pretty quiet, really. But very sweet.

Quiet, when I let myself settle into it without longing for something bigger, can indeed be a very, very sweet thing. This week, I am treasuring it. I’ll enjoy my afternoon nap, and he’ll probably snooze for a few minutes when he gets home, and we’ll drive to Assiniboia or Moose Jaw for a movie and the visiting in the vehicle will be the best part. And the quiet summer will sweeten and sweeten, and I’ll enjoy every tasty drop.