Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Looking Around

The house is quiet. Little is stirring. I decided to pick up my camera and have a look around. I know that I see things every day, but sometimes I do not notice those everyday things.

In fact, lately, what I have mostly noticed, and focused on, have been the shortfalls and frustrations, the disappointments. It may not be a conscious effort to wallow a bit, but sometimes it takes a deliberate effort to shake-off the pity party, the funk, or nameless dread. I recognized the heavy way I feel, contrasted with the joy and gratitude I found while browsing the Interwebs, and I made my deliberate move to see the good stuff. There is good stuff. All around.

I see books, waiting to be read... a first time, a tenth time. I see my tape measure, and I think yes, there it is, and later when I want it, I may not have to turn the house upside down searching for it. There is the hat I crocheted, and owl, too. Our felted soap, which twice this week made gifts for loved ones. I see a basket full of note cards, for thank-yous. Resisting the urge to chastise myself for not sending those out to the dozen, or so, people who deserve a thank-you... focusing on my good intentions. Is it too late to say thank you?

Quiet morning, all to myself, with the urge to see the good stuff... and where does this take me? The garden. I stood at the gate, seeing them, Van Gogh's sunflowers, as though in conversation, and I hesitated a moment, expecting them to invite me in, to greet me.

They turn to the sun, and look up. They are expectant, too. I love their faces, the intricacy, such fine precise detail, boldly standing, following the sun. They speak without words, they are comfortable with the quiet.

Passion flower vine cuttings. We are waiting for them to root, so I can plant them along our fence. They make me think of our first visit to the Biergarten, the small transplants along the fence, and seeing them flourish in the last two years. It's a hopeful act, rooting cuttings, planting, waiting... it takes faith. Am I comfortable with the quiet, do I have faith?

Caged tomato. Hang on little tomato!

There is stirring. Benjamin, slipping out the kitchen door, reminding me of more that I love... kitchens, glass doors, our old bench, my woodjie-woodjie-fur-baby-muffin-of-love, and effusive endearments.

Summer light, a lemon, an aloe, garden gloves, old tools. I see the things we love, the things we reach for, in sickness and in health. Squeezing lemons, the air vaporized with citric summer... I cannot be quiet about the smell and sting of lemon juice... it is too good.

I cannot sit here, any more. The day is moving ahead, with both good stuff and other stuff. I see it, and I am ready to move with the day, and say thank you.


judy in ky said...

Thank you, Natalie, for sharing so much good stuff with us. We enjoy the good and we empathize with the other stuff.

Alison said...

This is beautiful writing, Natalie. I'm glad you stopped to see the Good Stuff.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Love your love of lemon juice! It is wonderful stuff...

Also, I see "The Flame Trees of Thika" on your bookshelf. I fondly remember that book. Read it one year when I was called for Jury Duty to (ugh) downtown Los Angeles and those were the days we had to actually go and sit there all day for 9 days at least. The book was a wonderful escape from my boring surroundings during that time.

nikkipolani said...

Like a little bit of French countryside in your sunny sunflowers. Good stuff indeed.

zoom yummy said...

oh, how lovely... the owl in the basket? the book about london? just exactly what I like... :) Petra

Jenny said...

Your prose is as beautiful as you photos Natalie.

I see you have a Tasha Tudor book - I've long admired her life and talent.


Maria said...

The sunflowers are growing. In fact lots of our plants are growing. It's beginning to be Candlelight. Get the tomatoes, get the carrots, get the strawberries, get ready for Candlelight!