God’s New Day

What Shall I Do Today?

A Summer Garden

A Summer Garden, Less Scruffy Than Mine

A lifetime ago, I woke to summer eagerly, and

hurried through my small domestic tasks so I

could bask in warm and breezy days, with

friends, with books in gracious shade beneath

the maple tree, its bark worn smooth where I

habitually reclined. The world, with all its
blessedness, was
mine. I loved the storms that lumbered

in, the frosted quickening of the wind, the snap

of ozone in the atmosphere, and then the clearing

and the clean, bright look of everything.


In childhood, there is no time, in summer. I

devoured everything that Laura Ingalls Wilder

ever wrote. I played canasta on the porch, and I

recall an afternoon with people I’d known all

my life—Candace, Don, and Maggie—laughing

over nothing, strolling to the pharmacy two

blocks away for Popsicles, and strolling back. I

had new tennis shoes, in red, they must have

been, for Don and I imagined them as Dorothy’s

magic slippers and pretended we could rematerialize

in Oz, but didn’t even try, because, why would

we? Life was perfect where we were, a perfect

summer day, a shaded, quiet street, the easy,

soft cocoon of friends, an afternoon it seemed

would never end.


Now, again, it’s summer, with its obligations and its

chores, its heavy blanket of humidity, the scent

and sound of mowing lawns, and everything’s in

bloom. My little yard is forested with sunflowers, my

wooden fence is draped in ivy. I have things to

do, more now than when I read, insouciant, beneath

the tree and felt the grass caress my scabby legs, and

was content; but it needs little effort to recall the

wonder of it all, and bring it back, and notice how

the earth is generous, and how it can be after winter

seals the surface—only that, and not the heart. And

so I wake to summer eagerly, and still anticipate the

miracles I’ll see today.

My Fence of Ivy

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