This & That from My Dot on the Map

Last week I was sitting in my reading room by an open window doing some sudoku puzzles, wondering what deep-in-my-brain memory the sounds and feel of the day were eliciting. It was the experience of late summer when the kids were back in school and all was quiet except for some distant sounds, like maybe a rooster crowing and a tractor in a far away field. Maybe the memories are from long ago on the small urban farm where my grandparents lived. It really doesn’t matter where the associations are buried in my brain because they are of late summer and they are so very sweet.

We were having a period of perfect weather (except for some violent storms), more typical of September than the middle of August here at my dot on the map in Michigan. The days were pleasantly warm in the high 70s/low 80s F. with low humidity and a gentle, cool breeze. The nights were cool enough to sleep under a light quilt with windows open to the sounds of the night chirpers. Many times during the day I stopped to breath deeply and slip into the relaxed state of being that I experience at this time of season.

The bees know fall is coming!

I took refuge in this place where past and present weather-triggered experiences are intermingle, especially taking refuge from the horrors that are happening in Afghanistan, the frightening politics of the far right, and the rising threats of the Delta variant, and all the climate-related disasters. I am trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I can experience the joys of life while there is so much evil and suffering in the world. Does my breakthrough guilt make any sense? I wonder if there is a spiritual connection where I can shed some tears to lighten the burden of some mother and daughter who fears Taliban rules, rape and death?

I am having trouble finishing this post because I continue to be consumed with finding a better work-flow for getting my images from my new camera into Lightroom. In the meantime the dog-days of late summer have hit my dot on the map. It has been hot and humid for the past week and now early fall weather is just something to look forward to.

My flower garden has that late summer look where spring bloomers have either been trimmed back or need to be and summer bloomers are going to seed. Whereas spring has the exuberant energy of new growth and greening trees, and summer has the explosion of blooming flowers and lush dark-green trees, early fall has a tired look. My garden has mostly completed its yearly cycle of reproducing itself through seeds with only asters, sedums and mums yet to bloom (and maybe my morning glory). I enjoy this tired look because it reflects what I experience on good day, the tiredness of work well done. I look at my garden and smile because it is doing such a good job and now I will do my fall chores to keep it healthy.

I need to spend some time this fall thinning out buttercups and daisies that have gone beyond their allotted spaces. I also have to dig out where grasses are taking hold in the middle of clumps. Not easy work for me but I will be more relaxed when it is finished. Weeds tend to stress me out. There are some summer bloomers, like cone flowers and bee balm, that are here and there due to silly planting or self-seeding that I want to put together. Once I get into my fall routine in the garden, I find joy in cleaning up and making it all tidy for next spring. I am given encouragement to keep working by day lilies and irises who are sending up new shoots to get some of the remaining light before they go to sleep for the winter.

Even as this year’s garden is finishing up, I am looking toward future years. As soon as I get all this work done, I will take some photos of the bare bones of my garden to study and mark up as I’m thinking of shifting the ratio of my mixed garden. I think I will be going more towards small evergreens and flowering shrubs with my favorite flowers as fillers in between. If I don’t make these changes I don’t think our aging bodies will be able to maintain this home and we will be looking for a condo. That may mean giving up my purple porch swing.

11 thoughts on “This & That from My Dot on the Map

  1. I recently took a full week off from work – to do nothing. LIke you, I spent a lot of time outdoors, admiring nature and the changing of the seasons. The transition from summer to fall is a little different in the Southwest. Nippy weather- not quite yet- but there’s a lessening in the intensity of the afternoon soon. The days are noticeably shorter.

    I hear you about the guilt of happiness amidst the thought of suffering others are going through. I was feeling down about something- and then – taking time to pay attention to world events snapped me out of it. No matter what I’m going through at any time- it doesn’t compare some of the realities you mentioned above.

    Very thoughtful post!

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  2. What a lovely and thoughtful post, Pat 🥰 I have to say that your garden with its blooming and colourful flowers looks quite enchanting, and I can only imagine the sound of all the buzzing insects who are roaming around and collecting the precious nectar 🤗 thanks for sharing and have a good day ☺️ Aiva xx

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    • Sorry, but our neighbor behind us who is about 15 years younger is sitting on his deck, waiting for us to die. LOL The house was built to be aging friendly so we won’t have trouble selling it – but not everyone want to mess with a garden. Dave behind us loves yard work. Thanks for your nice compliment about my writing – I really appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely reflective post. I too like this time of year, late summer into early autumn, although it feels as if it has come too early this year – we’ve had too little proper summer weather here in the UK. Maybe September has some treats in store for us!

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    • Other bloggers I follow have commented on the cold summer you have had and that you now are getting some really nippy early fall weather. It seems very hard to predict “normal” weather now.

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