In case you didn't know, it's been hot here in the Midwest. Triple digit hot. My city has been breaking temperature records just about every day for the last week, and that is no exaggeration. I've been so obsessed with watering my plants daily that the plant watering invaded my dreams last night.
I've also been so worried about keeping my plants from wilting that I haven't stopped to enjoy the burst of activity the sprinkler brings, until today.
I turned the sprinkler on in the backyard and when I returned inside, I noticed a young Eurasian Tree Sparrow hanging out on a branch that was in the path of the sprinkler. I watched it for a moment before grabbing my camera.
I watched the birds for awhile before turning the sprinkler off and going to the Historic Society to, *ahem*, water more flowers. It was already close to 100 degrees when I left for work at 10am.
When I returned home, I sat near the sliding glass door that leads to the backyard and continued observing the life in my backyard. I felt my worries drifting away as I watched the bumblebees work on the Purple Coneflowers, the butterflies flit from flower to flower, the wasps hover around my tomato plants and the birds feed from the feeders and drink from the bird bath.
I often complain about and feel self conscious about the state my backyard is in. Today it struck me that I subconsciously view my backyard as an extension of myself. I'm hard on myself and constantly find fault; I'm not smart enough, popular enough, my house is a mess, my yard is a mess, the list here goes on and on.
After watching all of the activity in my yard, I decided to cut myself, and my yard, a little slack. Yes, the yard is a disorganized mess of honeysuckle, rose of sharon, poison ivy and a plethora of other unwanted plants, but I'm in the process of organizing and weeding (very much like in my life too) and I've planted flowers that are attractive to wildlife. The very core of the backyard is fulfilling its purpose of being a sanctuary in an urban setting. It's a place for the winged things to come for shelter, food and water. Life out in the wild is hard and I want my non-human friends to have a safe place to make their lives easier.
So yes, I am disorganized, messy, and battle my emotional demons, but I would like to think that my friends, and maybe even colleagues and strangers know that I'm an okay person and can offer comfort from the harsh realities of life. But most importantly, I need to see these things in myself, love my inner core and take refuge there when life stinks.
We, the garden and myself, are a work in progress, but in the meantime, visitors are welcomed.