there is sunlight this morning

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Sometimes I stop in the middle of a chore, in this case bringing up a planter of soil to transplant arugula thinnings into for the salad area around the corner from this photograph, and I see a moment that I need to soak up. A moment of calm, of beauty, two red chairs and a green one without its cushion, as though waiting for me to notice them, to sit for a while at the table and forget the troubled world. The troubled planet. A pot of scented geranium on the table, Prince of Orange, to replace the big one that didn’t overwinter well in the new greenhouse. Many roses just in bud.

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The corner I am calling Greece, for its tin of rosemary, its anemones, its Desert King fig (because the huge Brown Turkey growing up the side of the house produces figs that don’t reliably ripen here on the B.C. coast), its rose scented geraniums,

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and cistus dropping its bright petals. Mostly instead of sitting there I am planting squash, hunting slugs, preparing teepees for the beans (5 planted, one tray of seedlings just hardening off), filling big pots with soil for the peppers and eggplants in the greenhouse still. I am writing a novel. I am worrying about Ukraine. This morning photographs arrived of the family garden in my grandfather’s village where my newly-discovered relatives say, “We planted a garden in the spring, and now we hope to harvest in the fall. That’s how we live.” Their tomatoes are huge. Cherry trees and black currant bushes laden with fruit. Roses. And my cousin also said, “We have already finished the school year. The children completed it online because there is no bomb shelter in our school. There will be vacations soon.” My heart broke a little when I read that.

Sometimes I stop and sit in a red chair and just listen. Bees in the tomato flowers, the Madame Alfred Carriere roses, the tiny grape flowers. A robin ardently singing in the woods. Hummingbirds in the wisteria. The Fraser River is rising, rising. Russia is pulverizing whole cities. Along the highway below me, the Ministry of Transportation is still applying glyphosates to the orange hawkweed that the butterflies hover in. American families are posting photographs of their gun collections, vast arsenals set out on sundecks like mine, on kitchen floors, children proudly holding assault rifles and pistols. Today is the day I will tie up columbines, hoe the garlic and give the rows a drink of comfrey tea. There is sunlight this morning, the sound of loons, a brown and yellow garter snake sunning itself on the garden path.

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4 thoughts on “there is sunlight this morning”

  1. You make my heart break a little, Theresa, with the contrast of your peaceful life and the ugliness in the world. I’m grateful you share your peace, and your concerns too, with us.

    1. Beth, one of those days when my good fortune seems to be unfairly balanced against, well, the fate of others right now. And what to do? It seems important to pay attention to the beauty, even if it helps no one but me.

  2. It all looks so neat and clean! I have so much to do to keep the wilderness from invading that I never get to neat and clean.

    1. Oh John, you’re seeing a second-story deck, one where we sit in the mornings for coffee. It’s easy to keep it tidy. The rest of my garden is wild and tangled. We have 8.39 acres, most of it forest, but maybe .75 acre of garden and the mostly moss we called “lawn”. Vegetable garden is quite neat right now but in a few weeks, it will be dense and weedy, I suspect. Still, I think I live in paradise. And one day, who knows, maybe I’ll let the forest come back to the windows and just keep the upper roof garden! There are about 30 tomato plants in tubs up there, a small lemon tree, a salad area (in tubs). It would be enough garden for most people, esp. older ones…Enjoy the wilderness. We’re lucky to have it, aren’t we?

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