Anyone who knows me can affirm that most days I’m a hamster on a wheel as I crank out work and meals, get people to appointments, race to errands, and help the two kids at home get through challenges from driving tests to knee surgery.
The older child out on her own needs just as much TLC, even if it’s just delivered randomly in quick texts to say hi, what’s going on. You have to keep tabs on everyone.
But sometimes I wonder: who keeps tabs on me? My husband is great and pulls his share and then some. I love my kids. But when is enough … enough?
I was feeling pretty down on Saturday after a slow recovery from surgery that hurt a lot more, and a lot longer, than I was expecting. I found myself staring out my bedroom window, too tired to even stand up and go do something else. And then it happened.
I noticed how gracefully the stubborn vines I clip constantly between the neighbor’s yard and mine have spread like a blanket over the ancient stone wall that separates us. And how the lilies I painstakingly planted, even though everyone told me they were dead, had bloomed.
The birdsong was medicinal as the yard came alive with summer color, months of snow pack and torrential rain producing super-sized beauties of all varieties like a rain forest in this suburban neighborhood close to Cape Cod.
A day or so before I’d taken pictures of the flowers that mean something to me, realizing I’d waited all winter for just a glimpse of such perfection.
The crimson rose bush from my mother’s house is thriving by the side of the barn. Hosta I took off the hands of a man on Craigslist line the foundation, as well as golden lilies and huge white Shasta daisies in the front, along with comical orange daylilies bobbing out by the pool.
And, my favorite: the tender blue, purple, and pink hydrangeas whose soulful beauty brings me to tears with a longing I can’t name. They remind me of something, gentle and sad.
I might not be a perfect mother and wife, I know. I might not have been the best daughter. Other people might be better writers than me. But no one I know loves flowers like I do. And the birds that come to my feeders. And the quiet moments spent just gazing out a window to a yard well done that, for a moment, settled the stress and replaced it with peace.
That, I am convinced, was an answer to a prayer.