It’s the garden’s fault.
First it was the raspberries. Millions of them, dangling like red jewels in the bushes.
Then a heat wave rolled into the valley, and like a Smucker employee, I was picking, jellying, and making cordial for days until…. well…often until morning broke the nightsky.
Then came blueberries, blackberries, peas, and the blessings kept sprouting out of the ground along with a few epiphanies.
Last night I was under the shade tree in the back yard snapping green beans. The thought came to me that this wasn’t as much fun as it used to be and I wondered why.
I have little-girl memories of sitting under the big ol’ elm, and everyone snapping beans, slapping an occasional mosquito, and sharing their day. Of course, we didn’t have air-conditioning, so sitting outside, hoping for a breeze to stir the baked air, was a nightly ritual. We also put fireflies in jars, flipped june-bugs on their backs and watched them spin, and waited for the shift-change in insect hunting go from starlings to bats.
Now, I was under the tree with only the yard cat for company. Everyone else was inside, in airconditioning, watching TV, or in front of a computer.
I realized that the only reason I was sitting under the tree in the twilight was because that was how I had always snapped green beans as I grew up. I hadn’t thought it through. I guess I thought everyone would drift outside to see what I was doing…in the heat…in the semi-darkness.
I felt kind of stupid.
Life changes. At least the bats still come out.