Returning to Summer

Sun-starved skin basking in the afternoon rays.

Winter-softened hands hardening to the handle of a pitchfork.

Winter-softened feet hardening once more to the familiar soil.

Winter-whitened complexion slowly beginning to brown.

Returning to the old patterns of motion - shoveling, weeding, raking, lifting, carrying, walking with the swift, unhurried stride I perfected back when I was a child.

Thoughts dancing gently from one thing to the next...
   'Thank You, God, for sunshine, and how did it ever occur to You to make such beautiful contrasts of color? I never would have thought of it.'
   'Wonder how much larkspur came up this year?'
   'This compost is working nicely.'
   'Wonder if we have any black plastic around?'
   'Maybe I'll start that novel later on.'
   'Wonder if I could write a poem about the way the soil feels beneath my gripping toes - so firm'
   'Oh, the sun feels so good on my face.'
   'Thank You, thank You, thank You God for this whole beautiful world You've made, and for putting me into it and giving me eyes to see it all.'

Stopping to notice and appreciate and marvel.

Returning to the barefoot patterns - the effortless awareness of spiny things and loose nails and sharp rocks, the very keen awareness that gardening is better without shoes.

Patterns, patterns everywhere - thoughts, movements, sensations, growth...ah yes! Always following the pattern, but not always the same.

Wind and achy muscles and birdsong and sweat and jobs well done.

Ah, summer, I'll be glad to make your acquaintance again!