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Thursday, August 07, 2008

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The summer has bolted like a neglected garden. Early this morning, while the temperature was still in the double digits, I walked around the yard to assess just how far everything has gotten away from us. Trumpet vine has taken over the dog fence. The fig tree is turning yellow, and the birds are beating me to the ripened fruit I thought I would be devouring by now. The dogwoods and forsythia are wizened with thirst, beggars in my path.

The children are wild. If I am lucky, I catch glimpses of them through the hedges, running half-naked with handfuls of hard green pecans and tall pointed sticks (yes, there have been injuries). Everywhere, there are hidden caches of sticks, rocks and nuts. Provision or ammunition, I can't tell.

I have let it all go, myself included, and it has been the most luscious, rambling summer I remember in years. Non, je ne regrette rien.

But it's time. Time to pull back the lovely tangle of vines before they choke the life out of something, time to beg forgiveness from the dogwoods and forsythia so they will love me again in the spring, time to brood even one fig into full sweetness. It's time to give Peter his thimble and gather in my lost boys.

"Should we cut your hair before school?" I asked them yesterday. They were adamant and unanimous to a man. "No."

They are going to public school in two weeks, and are delighted to be emancipated from the "hair code" of their old parochial school. Me too. I like a touch of wild.

I am going to have to insist on shirts, however.

There's a Tom Petty song that Patrick used to sing to me over the telephone, late lonely nights under the gabled ceiling of my childhood bedroom in my mother's house, while I tried to figure out what kind of garden I wanted to grow, the best ratio of order to chaos for my life:

Run away, find you a lover
Go away somewhere bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares with you
You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

I did. I do.

Here are my wildflowers. I told them I wanted pictures of their freckles.




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Blogger elaine said...

Funny, this morning I was thinking about my own balcony garden, which has bolted. I like order, control, predictability and schedule -- so I'm not happy.

And then I looked at your "wildflowers" and realized it's ok to just let things be for a while and see what grows and flourishes effortlessly during these hot August days. It may be better than what we try to cultivate, prune and coddle so it's pretty and neat.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Jennifer H said...

I like a touch of wild, too.

Your boys are beautiful.

(A fig tree? Lucky you.)

1:25 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

That was lovely. How nice that Patrick sang to you. I'm so enjoying your blog. A diamond in the rough.


3:03 PM  
Blogger paper napkin said...

We're enjoying the last few days of summer too...

3:54 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Great way to set the scene... clear images in my mind. I can see you drifting through your garden wearing some wispy slip of a wrapper like in an old black and white movie.

Love the thimble and Pan reference and love, love the long hair on your boys. It suits them.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

It is odd to me that long distance relationships are the sort of thing that are so romantic in hindsight, but in the thick of it, it is just so...I don't know. To see the lyrics, and then your three kids, wow.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

How lucky your children are to have a mom who appreciates the freedom to be found in a little's good for the growing soul (and the old ones too).

9:09 PM  
Blogger MoxieMamaKC said...

What a lovely garden you've cultivated...a little wildness can go a long way. Let them have a "bit" of "The Lord of the Flies" savageness before they have to grow up and be "adults". Nicely done. Thanks for the Tom Petty!

10:06 PM  
Blogger beth♥ said...

I absolutely LOVE their hair. They are beautiful!

8:44 PM  

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