Simple Things

The heat envelopes everything in its close embrace – cloys at our clothes. I inhale hot air and yearn for cold. It feels strange to actually be hot; me who is never hot; me who usually wears sweaters in July.
Tis a strange old world… but I love it really. 
In the evening we are able to sit outside until it is dark, in shorts and summer dresses. Sit and see the stars, the clouds rolling into dusk, the bats taking flight. It is a magical time. When all the colour seeps out of the landscape. Trees turn from fountains of green to eerie silhouettes all clothed in black. I love to see the last few rays of burnt orange sun glistening through the gaps between leaves and branches, right down low on the horizon.
Today was a day of waiting. On my part of impatience. Waiting for cavity wall insulation engineers, waiting for a vegetable and fruit box, waiting for inspiration for work… waiting for my life to begin. 
I sense the slow sift of sand drifting – a life flowing away – and too much living left to do. How do I begin it? How do I get anywhere? Why is here not enough? It just seems like I have been spinning in circles, wobbling, falling, more circles and on and on and on.
Still, there are always things to enjoy right now. Small things that make a life worth living. Here some simple things for which I am grateful this week:
  • A rather unkempt baby robin (in the photo above) sat on the fence watching us
  • Making a leaf and flower mandala in the garden with Emily
  • A box of fruit and vegetables that arrived at last, along with kale and potatoes and herbs picked from the garden
  • Watching a documentary about the Eden Project. I visited it years ago, when it was very new. Pictures on the internet do not compare with the real thing. An incredible place, I’d love to go again.
  • Playing tug-of-war in the garden with Jay. Pulling each other over. He couldn’t understand why he kept losing (he is much stronger than me), until he figured out that our garden is on a slight incline, and it is much easier for me to pull downhill that it is for him to pull uphill. So in the end we swapped and called it a draw.
  • Reading Wildwood by Roger Deakin and The Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill
  • More and yet more fresh raspberries
  • Helping Emily paint posters for sports day
  • Strawberries – pounds of them for 60p at the greengrocers. Making impromptu jam with Emily on a hot afternoon
  • A painting bought and sold and off to America
  • Laundry that dries in just a couple of hours
  • Leaves picked from the garden to make mint tea
  • Stumbling upon a fanciful blog post that was exactly what I needed to read right now: Captured by a dream
  • Ironing what felt like a hundred name tags on clothes for Emily’s camping trip to the Brecon Beacons

You know, often, as day by day goes by, life seems very dull. Unless you look closely it might seem as though nothing much were happening at all. We don’t have much money so we’re not able to go to interesting places very often, we have a quiet and pretty ordinary life here. Sometimes it feels like it’s not enough. There are many things I would love to be able to do. 
Yet, when I look closely and record these little things, the patchwork pieces that create this life, well, it’s kind of a mismatched, freestyle, beautiful thing – and I think every life contains those simple things that a person might not notice unless they take the time to see.
A short poem to lead us into the weekend. A quote to live a life by – perhaps?…
“Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

~ Mary Oliver


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