I still sort of miss my former back yard, which backed up to the woods, & where I could sit on a warm Summer’s night in the old, faded wooden swing cuddling with my former cat whose fur felt so very soft against my tanned legs. There I could listen to the sounds of the night – the frogs, raccoons, & yes, even the coyotes – while looking up at the heavens sparkling above. I am trying hard to make the little enclosed concrete patio of my rented townhouse into a cheery place. Here I sit on my metal patio chairs listening to the hum of the air conditioning units on either side of me & if I try really hard, I can catch a tiny glimpse of the rain clouds gathering by glancing at the little window of sky above. It is just not the same. Two tiny evergreen trees grace urns beside the doorway to the garage. I’ve attempted to make an oasis amidst the metal of the patio furniture & the concrete beneath my feet by adding Leopard’s bane, a potted palm, a luscious fern, hyacinths, hibiscus & begonias. (One set of begonias is holding its own but the other set struggles for survival in the little hay rack style planter beneath my kitchen window – I’ve never grown anything in one of them before, & apparently I may have chosen the wrong plant.)
But on this moderate Spring evening when the moon is playing hide-and-seek behind the dark clouds overhead, what catches my eye is my wind chimes. They are older, & I brought them with me from my former home. They remain motionless in the breezeless night, yet I smile to myself whenever they happen to catch my eye, for they were hung there for me by someone special to my heart, & that makes all of the difference. Beneath the hum of the service equipment, I hear peace, & overhead I see a symbol of friendship, & these two things are so very sweet as to make the transition easier.
Out front, I have yet to hang my American flag, but hope to do so very soon. Some marigolds, two small geraniums, & a fern add a little variety to the small stoop. Though I doubt I will spend much time out there, front porches were made for sitting on, so I’ve put a couple of resin chairs & a side table there, just in case the mood strikes. But what catches my eye out front is the colorful yard flag that was given to me by a dear friend when my other one blew away. I also smile whenever I see it waving in the wind.
Though it’s now been over five months since I’ve lived alone, this is the first season I’ve had where I can get outside & enjoy the outdoors that I love so much. It is taking a bit longer to get settled into my new life than I anticipated, but every plant I plant is one step further away from my past & into my future. I am so very thankful for these reminders of friendship, but more so for the people that they represent. At the end of the day, it really is the simplest things that count the most.