View from the Time-Out Chair

By: Julie Day

This summer has been an unusual one for me. Normally, my natural states of being include “working,” “sleeping,” and “sometimes some other stuff.” This summer, however, I’ve got a cast on my foot, which means I’m spending a good deal of time in a chair on the porch with nothing to do but redefine myself. I’ve been forced to change the pace, and it’s giving me some wonderful insights about my own little patch of earth.

For instance, I had no idea just how many animals live in my yard – birds, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, ‘possums, buzzing bees and butterflies. Once I stopped my constant mowing, chopping, clipping, hauling, and digging, they immediately brought their daily party out into the open. I was also surprised to learn that my cat is a long-standing, peaceable member of the club – turns out I was the only one not invited.

Okay, so the animals like it better when I work less in the garden, but what about the plants? Well, the new shrubs are settled in and growing like crazy, the flowers are blooming like gangbusters, the lawn is full and green, the trees are happy . . . frankly, the whole place seems relieved that the micromanager has finally taken a breather!

And, I must admit, the micromanager herself has enjoyed learning to sit back and relax. I can’t get enough of garden-watching this summer – in other parts of life, I’m about one thistle-seed’s breadth away from going stark raving mad, but in my chair, on the porch, I’m having the best summer ever.

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