June 8, 2019

  I live in the ordinary dull-gray world of sibling squabbles, broken air-conditioners, flower-eating garden pests, and forgotten dentist appointments, with their companion fines. Of course I do. But kneeling in my garden with purple catmint waving and blooming over my head, it seems–for a moment–as if I live in a rainbow-tinted world of magic and wonder and deeply-rooted happiness. That’s the power of perspective, isn’t it? Change your point of view and some good gift becomes available that wasn’t… Read more

June 1, 2019

  It is the first day of June, and I can feel spring rolling into summer. The air seems heavier, the sunlight more sharp. Afternoon thunderstorms pop like fireworks: quick and fierce and gone in a blink. The seasons for watching and waiting, planting and hoping have been fulfilled, and their fulfillment tastes like warm strawberries, cold lemonade, peppery basil on the pizzas we make each and every Friday night. In fact, I am typing this out quickly before dashing… Read more

May 28, 2019

  Toward the end of our Memorial Day gathering, I walked with a few friends down the long length of our driveway. We used our cellphones as flashlights, but when the little child in our midst pointed out the very first firefly of the season, we turned off our phones. At first we paused, the way forward lost in total darkness, but soon more fireflies, the neighbor’s sporadic fireworks, and the glow of a thunderstorm on the horizon softened the… Read more

May 21, 2019

  It only lasted a moment but what a moment. And how near I came to missing it. * Seven a.m. is rush hour in my kitchen on a weekday morning. Perhaps it’s the same in your home? It is not the hour for stopping to smell the roses. I’ve learned–through trial and error–that it isn’t even the time for a bit of devotional reading or prayer with my kids. We save that for the dinner table. It is the… Read more

May 14, 2019

  Spring is my personal harvest season. The plans I made last summer, the bulbs I buried in the fall, the hopes I nurtured over winter, are yielding their harvest now. It is a harvest of ‘White Triumphator’ tulips followed by ‘White Giant’ alliums in the flower garden and roses climbing near the kitchen door and over the chicken coop. It is the dangling white bells of the Carolina Silverbell tree I planted near the porch on the eastern side… Read more

May 7, 2019

  May is my favorite month in the garden. The late daffodils and tulips are still hanging on, the trees and grass are fully green, and everything else–from peonies to roses–is all set to burst into summer bloom. It isn’t like that moment of almost frenzied anticipation that arrives just at the end of winter. This moment is sweeter, lovelier, and it lingers. * But this isn’t my first May in the garden here at Maplehurst, and I am keenly… Read more

April 30, 2019

  There are some miracles so regular we can almost forget they are miracles. The day before Easter is that miracle for me. Every year for seven years, the Saturday morning following Good Friday erupts in laughter and sunshine, celebration and joy. Against all odds. It has become an annual harvest of glory, but like any harvest, it never feels entirely reliable. It always feels, some years a little bit and some years a lot, like an impossible dream. Every… Read more

April 27, 2019

  It felt like winter would last forever, while it lasted. Spring was a mirage we hardly dared believe. And resurrection? A comforting idea. A tale told to children. An old story we wrapped round ourselves like a blanket while winter storms battered the window panes. * There were signs that something was stirring beneath the mud and last year’s leaves. Brave yellow daffodils raised trumpets as if to proclaim some impossible, good news. But their song was whipped away… Read more

April 13, 2019

  We are living it. I feel that more than ever in early spring. Sometimes winter fools us. And this has been a long winter. After a long accumulation of cold days, we can be taken in by the surface of things, and death can seem total and irreversible. But it isn’t. Our ancient saucer magnolia is singing her praises to heaven just in time for Holy Week, and I am thinking of these beautiful and prophetic words from Song… Read more

April 9, 2019

  There is nothing, nothing, nothing, until, suddenly, there is everything: a haze of green on the trees, daffodils trumpeting in the breeze, and fruit trees bursting into blossom like popcorn popping. I keep, without even trying, a growing mental list: Saucer magnolia (check) Japanese cherry tree (check) Apricot tree (check) Donut peach tree (check) Early daffodils (check) Forsythia (check) I can’t wait to add: tulips, viburnum, and apple blossom. This is my seventh spring at Maplehurst. It now feels… Read more

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