Saturday, October 11, 2014

End of summer

It's time to pull out the annuals.

This is not my favorite.

They are a tangled mess, brown leaves, and dead heads that didn't get deadheaded.  Ha.  I pinched back a hanging basket after most of it had died, and in the aftermath it threw up a bunch of struggling little blooms, not much foliage.

But.  They are still blooming.  The canna lilies are going strong, with more new blossoms than spent ones.  Loads of zinnias brighten the yard with color.

I hate to say good-bye to summer.

At the old house, I hated closing the pool for the same reason.  This is so hard for me.  I wait all year for summer, and it comes, and it is magnificent.  Then it is almost over, and I am supposed to clean it up while it still looks nice, while there is a mildness to the air, before the snow flies and yardwork becomes impossible.

After Laura's wedding, I felt the same, gazing around the room where the reception had been held, many guests gone, some lingering.  I looked at the tables with all that lay upon them, decorations, soiled napkins, partially drunk bottles of pop, burlap accents.  I saw the efforts of our hands and knew that all our work, everything, had to be torn down.

I think this transitional thing is correlated to the season of life I've hit overall right now, this time of kids coming of age and moving out.   We had the growing years, the years of Christmas pageants at church, school band concerts, birthday parties, theme parks, beach vacations, back yard campouts.  We did back-to-school shopping and piano lessons, ballet recitals and science fair projects, and then high school graduations and college applications.

It was hard work, like summer yard work, and not all of it was fun, but it was rewarding, it was productive, it was lively and vibrant and stimulating.  My instinct is to grab and hold, but of course I can't.  Time cannot be held back.  The next season will come, whether I am prepared or not.  We learned through painful experience that we needed to close the pool before the water became bitterly cold and the wind sharp and biting.

I need to allow my children to traverse this next birth into adulthood and independence, and to work ahead a little so the next time spring rolls around, there isn't difficult and painful make-up work because of the season that went before.

Spring will come.  There will be grandchildren some day, and  birthday parties and concerts and family vacations, possibly magnificent family reunions.  Seasons come around again.

I'm going to go pull up some annuals, and then... then I'm going to plant a bunch of daffodil bulbs!

Yes.  I am.

...a time to plant and a time to uproot...
from Ecclesiastes 3:2


Shannon said...

"bottles of pop"

booooooooo. where are you from, anyway, the midwest or something?

ruth said...

I literally did laugh out loud for about two minutes from reading your comment.

Yes. I am from the Midwest. I was born there, raised there, and I live there now. People look at me funny when I say soda here, so I got in touch with my heritage and shifted back to pop.

I will never forget the time when you were about three, and we were visiting MN over the summer, and Grandma Rainbow said, "There is just nothing like a fresh, ripe, homegrown Minnesota strawberry!" And you made a face and said resolutely, "There is just nothing like a fresh, ripe, homegrown NEW YORK strawberry!"