hello summer

Summer weather has arrived early here. The sunshine is lovely, the temps not so much. We will pull out the small air cooling unit tonight to see if we can create a cooler sleep environment because it is going up to the 90’s this week.

Just in time (ha ha) because I have a new finished shawl. I do love how those yellows play. I started another shawl this weekend, using some more of that fingering stash. This one has short rows which is pretty fun.

I need to get out for an early walk and then a grocery run – mostly because I think we will be needing popsicles. Happy summer!

I love that WordPress changed the colors on the app button this month.

Three fun things

#1 – desk time with my grandson. Most recently he has been teaching me how to make checklists and who doesn’t love a good check list. I sure do like this side by side time.

#2 – a catch up zoom call with a wonderful online friend – talking about scrapbooking and journaling and books and quilts. I am so happy to have these connections.

#3 – shawl knitting! I haven’t knit a shawl in a long time but could not resist the temptation of Helen Stewart’s new shawl society. I am at the 80% mark on shawl number one and just started the second pattern today. Forgot how much fun it is to knit shawls.

The weekend is coming – hope it is full of fun things.

Walking adventures

I am trying to find some new places to walk a few days a week – just to shake it up and to get off the roads. Thinking back to last June, I did almost all of my walking in the neighborhood. Everyone was staying at home so the roads were quiet. But we don’t have sidewalks so now, a neighborhood walk means spending a lot of time watching for cars.

Instead, I have begun driving down the hill to a local bike and walking trail. When I walk on this paved trail, I pop my ear buds in and walk without really paying attention. There are days when I see the blue heron or the eagle and I always stop to say hello. The other day I saw five salmon in the water. I might see a beaver and there are always ducks and geese, but this trail is for exercise.

There is another trail that I am visiting more often. It is on my way to the library and one of my grocery stores so it is convenient. This time of year there are all sorts of things beginning to bloom. Best of all, this is the place to see frogs, baby salmon, and dragonflies. These creatures take a bit more attention. They are smaller and prone to hide so you really have to slow down. Fortunately there are some rocks and downed trees that make a great perch.

I am beginning to gather ideas for more of these slow walks and hoping to find a day each week to drive a bit further from home and make some new trail discoveries.

Slow time

“Slow time does not mean doing things more slowly. People suffering from burnout and depression have slowed down considerably and not been restored. Slow time is entering into a living relationship with the present . . . Slow looking and slow listening nourishes and revitalizes us.”
Sue Stuart-Smith, The Well-Gardened Mind

When I was cutting peonies over the last week, this idea kept popping into my head – a living relationship with the present. The peonies in my garden have an interesting timeline. There are a few weeks when I think, that’s it, they are not coming back this year. Then the smallest of shoots begin to push through the winter soil and soon there are beautiful, red stalks rising up. After more waiting, the stalks put out leaves, turn green, and then the flower heads appear. At first those buds are very small and always closed up tight, making it hard to imagine the flower. I begin to watch for the ants that will eat the sticky substance holding the bud closed. And finally, they begin to bloom. First the white bush, then the pink. After all that slow time, there will be a bit of a rush because the blooms will not last long. I only have two peonies so they bring their lovely petals and beautiful scent inside for about two weeks. When they are done blooming, they return to that slow time. I imagine the leaves bringing nourishment into the soil and feeding the roots for the next season.

I have seen a few posts about slowing down and paying attention so I know I am not alone in this. Is it because we are thinking about how we will engage with the world differently? Are we anxious about sliding right back into that busy, busy, busy lifestyle? I am thinking about how to hold on to the cycle of these beautiful flowers. To remember and reflect on the importance of each step along the way. Maybe to preserve that memory, bringing it out again on those grey, winter days that are easy to wish away. I wonder what other places I might find this way to engage, build a relationship with the present.