It has been one of those weeks. Which weeks?
The week when you suddenly realise that the summer is rolling downhill away from you and you bust a gut to catch up and get all those jobs done that you said you would ‘do over the holidays.’ The week you you dig a new flowerbed beside the front gate and lean on your spade with satisfaction and then look up to see your dog on the opposite side of the road and you make eye contact with him and you see him thinking, ‘ah shucks, I’ve been caught breaking the rules again, I better go home and make puppy dog eyes,’ and you see a car coming but he doesn’t see it because a neighbour has stopped to greet him and he backs away from the neighbour on to the road and under the car.
Oh, he set up such a wailing howl I thought my heart would crack but at the same time I was thinking, ‘he’s alive.’
Husband, oh Dear God thank you for having Husband home when this happened, managed to ascertain that Charlie could, reluctantly, hold up his own weight and had, beyond obvious bruising, only a few small open wounds and I managed to breathe again. He was completely helpless that night, not able to even jump into his basket. Husband had to carry him outside to do his business and then carry him upstairs where he slept (against the rules) at the side of my bed.
Poor fella has clearly been very sore but he has since been spoiled and molly-coddled far beyond what is good for him!
The shock of it really took it out of me. It’s too hard, this dog-loving thing. Nobody warned me there was this much emotional vulnerability involved.
The garden has been a balm. We’ve had a burst of sunshine that has set the place ablaze.
We made a deliberate effort to plant bee-friendly shrubs and perennials and it has been a hugely rewarding success. The hum of bees is almost enough to drown out the middle distance buzz of traffic from the main Cork to Kerry road. I have a dream of owning a hive but that is some ways down the road yet.
Fennel grew like a weed in my old house but has refused to thrive here. I planted at least a dozen baby fennel but only two have survived the onslaught of slugs, snails, gales and hailstorms. I adore fragrance and the frothiness of them and the heads that look like a fireworks display.
Everything feels as though it’s surging towards the finish line. Blackberries are ripening from scarlet to black overnight. It’s hard to beat warm blackberries mashed up with sugar and anointed with poured cream.
The crab apples are looking like fairy fruit and just beginning to tinge with pink. This is my favourite tree. It is always in bloom for the girls’ birthday parties in April and holds its fruit until Christmas. Everyone should have one.
Love-in-a-mist. There is something magical about it, as if it reaches inside my soul and twists.
Two years ago, on one of my very first walks with little puppy Charlie, I pulled a buddleia seedling from the ditch. It was about six inches tall and pretty floppy by the time I got it home. I stuck it in the ground and forgot about it. Last year, it reappeared in Spring and stretched to about three feet tall and even bore a half dozen or so blooms which I thought was great work from a free plant.
This year, it is over my head (way over) and awash with foot-long blossoms. I do know that buddleia can be a thug but we have space enough for this one and it is making me happy. This is where I sit most days to read and listen to the hum of tiny wings and absorb the scent of high summer. This is where I feel contained and safe and purposeful and able. This, now, is the rock I cling to.
Yes. It has been one of those weeks.