falling snow

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This Summer's Today

I am so grateful for each of you who has commented, called, or emailed regarding my last post, "I'm Rockin'!" Your caring comments have warmed my heart and I am deeply touched you have chosen to share your love, concerns and experiences with your own furry companions. My heart grieves for you who have said "good-bye" to beloved friends and we journey together, you who are in the same place and time as I am with TC. Your tender words remind me we are never alone, those of us who choose to share our lives with these gentle creatures. The days rush hurriedly by, and they are all too few for those we love and who love us in return. There are never enough days, never enough time. We are connected to each other through our love for the animals, just as we are connected to our companions. Thank you dear friends for the blessing you are!

It's been rather quiet here in the Attic for the last few weeks. There have been many to-do's that have remained undone, and I have tried my best to maintain quiet in the household. TC experienced a setback through a bacterial infection the beginning of June. She was recovering when I wrote my last post on the 12th, but by June 14th she was critical again with the infection's return. After two 24-hour antibiotics and two 10-day antibiotic injections, daily fluid IV treatments for two weeks accompanied by the uphill and down of good days and bad, she is recovering once again. Her weight has declined the last couple of weeks, so we are doing our best to increase her food intake; just last week an appetite stimulant was added to her regime. She is receiving fluid IV's two to three times per week now and is beginning to regain her strength. The days are spent closely monitoring her progress; the girls and I head outside at dusk for a bit of fresh air and night time coolness; and we continue our rockin' whenever requested!

This has been a different kind of Summer here at Dogwood Manor. Because it has had to be, and because I have chosen for it to be. This Summer is about today and not about the to-do's. There are many which have remained undone, some inside, but mostly outside. It is the first and only Summer when there have been no flowers in the planter boxes or containers. The shade flower bed was tended in the cool, early days of April, but has gone untouched since then. Sadly, the sun bed has been neglected since last Fall and there are no annual pots of color gracing the green of the already bloomed perennials. Statuary, stepping stones, solar lights and other garden decors sit on their shelves in the shed, awaiting next Summer's light. There are no flowers to be seen when we gaze through the Attic window; the table and chairs are absent from their place on the deck. (Truth be told, we are in the process of staining the deck between predicted rain showers that haven't happened and pop up showers that changed weekend plans for long painting sessions. It is the primary to-do in need of completion this Summer.)

Even the front porch is missing its welcoming array of Summer colors this year. The barren containers await next Spring's blooms...

I struggle so with the undones. Always have. I keep an ongoing list of things to be completed; there is a real sense of accomplishment in checking off the finished tasks. The list has been put away for another day; instead of motivating, it became overwhelming, just thinking about all the remaining projects. And I feel better not hearing its incessant daily call, instead tending to life in the moment. The realist in me tells me to let go of some things for now while the perfectionist continues to demand it all, everything done and everyone cared for. Ms. Realist has asserted herself in this Summer season; I welcome her wisdom and I listen. Ms. Perfectionist is slowly taking her rightful back seat and becoming less obtrusive, learning this is not her time. A difficult lesson, to be certain! Occasionally, and still all too often, her insistent, piercing whine is heard. Ms. Realist politely lets her have her say and then kindly tells her to sit down and be quiet - her season too shall come!

There are weeds to be pulled

and bushes to trim,

scruffy stragglers to spray

and Winter's leaves to be raked.

Inside, there is clutter to clear

and tiny nose prints


and paw prints to clean (is this cat speak for "clean me?").

I remind myself this year's season of Summer is about today. Through all of the to-do's and undones, I look around and behold the beauty of it all. 

These faithful perennial friends who appear year after year with little or no tending from me.

The stargazer lilies who scent the garden with their sweet, sweet fragrance.

This ever-growing clump of shasta daisies which began with a single plant in a quart size pot, planted many years ago.

The purple coneflower who spring up wherever to surprise and delight.

And the white phlox, their scented heads nodding in the twilight, casting a soft glow in the night for enjoyment from my darkened windows above.

These hope-filled morning clouds of much needed sustaining rain (that never materialized)

and a surprisingly glorious sunset in June after a full day of nurturing, cleansing rain.

A summer filled with today and gratitude for the life that is today. 

Like this face...

and this one . . . 

and this one . . . 

Yes, it is a different Summer, this one, an awakening, quieter Summer; one that bears its own gifts, treasured for today, and certain to be treasured tomorrow.

"The cleaning and scrubbing can wait . . ." Ms. Realist reminds.

"How long? Just how long can it wait?" Ms. Perfectionist whines.

"'Til tomorrow. The cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow. Whenever tomorrow comes. . . Whenever." In her wisdom and in her knowing, Ms. Realist gently replies.

Blessed be your today. Put away the undones if you dare. There are far too many to-do's for today anyhow. And join me in whispering a prayer of gratitude for all that is, the life that is. And maybe, even say a blessing over those to-do's who await their time in their own season.

Blessed be,

eta: Yes, dear readers, in the time this post began toward the end of June and its posting now, some to-do's have been completed. Paw prints and nose prints have been cleaned; bits of clutter have been cleared; and bushes have been trimmed (thanks to dh and an unusually cool, breezy summer evening!). Ms. Perfectionist has hushed her whining, and even Ms. Realist has breathed a quiet sigh of contentment. . .