Friday, August 12, 2011


If it had rained today, it would have been the perfect day.
But you know, it could still rain tonight.

What is a perfect day? I'll tell you. A perfect day is one in which the person considering this proposition is completely content with the way the day goes.
Even with dog poop.
Even without rain.

It's all in the eyes of the beholder. Not just beauty. Everything.

After the last few days of such despair that I could have been in Paris, eating the finest food, wearing the finest clothes, walking the historic streets and visiting museums and cathedrals and my despair would have only been greater because I was despairing in Paris, today with all of its heat and dog poop has been like a rebirth.

I mostly worked in the garden, pulling weeds. There is, for me, such pleasure in that. The satisfying feeling as the roots give way, the shaking off of the dirt and then the tossing of the weed into the waiting receptacle, the slow clearing of ground to be replanted- ah. Nothing like it for me, even as the sweat drips into my eyes, even as my wrists warn me that tonight I may not rest easy, even as my knees ache. It's just so...good.

An old friend came by to get his tractor. He had been working outside too, obviously, and there we both were with our overalls on and the bandannas around our heads to catch sweat and prevent it from falling in our eyes, both dirty and looking like hell. "Hey, darlin'," he said. "Welcome to Florida! How's it workin' out for you here?"
"We're nuts, aren't we?" I asked.
"Yep," he agreed. "We are."

I think he's been here all his life, I've only been here for fifty-one of my fifty-six years. We know we're insane. We accept that.

As I worked the thunder began and the clouds came over and the air cooled. It was amazing. It was wonderful. I pulled and pulled and pulled and I saw a spider, frantically clutching her egg sac (or whatever the technical name is) in her arms and scooting to save it. I saw worms and I covered them back up. I pulled and I twisted and I blessed my gloves which protect me so well and yet allow me such dexterity that I can change the tape in my player with them on. I wiped my face over and over again. I pulled some more.
The chickens all came in to work with me and that was the best. All nine of them and they had a field day in the places I'd cleared, scratching in the newly bare dirt, and in the weeds ahead of me where they ate the seeds I'd vowed this year not to let develop. They cooed and clucked and cackled softly as they worked around me and I found myself mimicking them. Elvis strode around, keeping his eyes on everything, every one, his beady eyes constantly scanning the area for dangers as his hens ate.

God damn! Chickens and dirt and weeds! Cooler air! The hint of possible rain! And me, able to enjoy it with all of my dirt-and-chicken-loving heart.

Kathleen came by and she looked at me and I said, "Well, obviously I am back to normal." She laughed and we leaned in and she kissed me on the cheek. She looks so radiant these days and filled with good health. I think of where she was a year ago- just beginning the wrong sort of chemo with no real hope in her heart and now, here she is, with the right doctor, the right treatment, an entire new part of her life open to her.
She brought me treats, the way she does. Handmade pimento cheese from really good local cheese and chicken salad and crackers and vermouth olives. Okay. Those are for Mr. Moon. But the point is- she is doing so well, she is so beautiful and when she drove away in her convertible with the top down, I rejoiced in that.

I went back to the garden. I worked for hours and finally, I made the conscious decision to stop. To come in, to shower, to sit and think about all of this- the blessings of a day in which my heart is filled up with the goodness of all of it, unpolluted by the deep toxic tide which had flooded me and forced me down with no option but to submit.

So. This is that. The thinking out loud. The gratefulness, the profound contentment with it all as it is. The heat, the sweat, the dirt, the weeds, the chickens, the men working out front laying cable, the people who came by, the brown rice I have simmering on the stove in the pot I've simmered brown rice in thousands of times before. The man just home from work, the prospect of an evening with him. The prospect of more garden time tomorrow.
Nothing more than that.
Just this.

Enough. And more. More than I could ever hope for, like wishing that the tides will continue, the sun will rise, the trees will reach up to embrace the sky.


  1. A little bit of this and that is always a good thing. Enjoyed your post and especially your great view of how the world looked today. I wish every day could be like this. Have a great weekend.

  2. I'm in need of a day like this; just work and time to think and be alone with myself.

    I can just picture you out there weeding with your chickens scratching around and Elvis keeping watch. Perfect.

  3. Life is so strange -- how the desire to live it comes and goes. Comes and goes, comes and goes. Comes --

  4. Beautiful.
    I wish I knew how to let people into my life the way you do. I'm so isolated out here. I know you feel that way inside too sometimes and I know you struggle with it, but you are like a beacon to me of what life could be like. I'll never have the kids and the grandkids, but to stand in the yard with a friend who stops by while I'm weeding would be a wonder.
    I love all the goodies Kathleen brought, love how well she is feeling.
    Love your day, your writing and how the weeding was so perfectly described and loved. I feel that way lately about weeding too, esp in the morning dampness. It's holy.

  5. Glad to hear it was a good day! I went and saw Dad play, btw - sounding great.

  6. it is funny how your overalls show up overall in your posts, almost as a kind of symbol of when life is really, really good, especially in the really dirty earth !:) have a nice overall weekend !

  7. The little spider with her egg sac pulled at my heart. I sense you are like that--protecting those things that are precious to you. I will need to do some serious weed work when I get home. We had glorious rain.

  8. Thank you Mary for this post of gratitude. Peace. Like a soft rain that dampens the earth after too long of dry...this fell on me and made me think of what I have. Not what I don't have.

  9. Such beautiful moments, Ms. Moon. Thank you for sharing your heart with us...we love you whether you're waxing, waning, or know that, right?

  10. So lovely. I'm going to go pull some weeds of my own this morning and wish I had chickens.

    Last night I came home late from helping a friend move on to a new life, and the full moon was shining so brightly I had to run around the yard playing with my shadow and my dog and sing moonshadow. These happy spontaneous moments balance out the bad, don't they?

    The image of you waving goodbye in your gloves and overalls to Kathleen driving away in her convertible is just about perfect.


  11. I love the image of you and the chickens working in the garden together. It's a good relationship we have with chickens, well, at least sometimes when they're allowed to be free like yours are.

    Love you Mama.

  12. A- But it has to be FOR REAL. That's what I think. I am grateful when I am grateful.

    Mr. Shife- You have a great weekend too.

    Mel's Way- It was like sugar and cream. Only better.

    Elizabeth- Exactly.

    Bethany- It can be that way for you. If you want it. I know it can.

    DTG- I thought about it and then I said, "Nope." Stuck close to the chickens and didn't put on a bra. I know it was a good time, though.

    niels- So true!

    Syd- I thought about you when I was in my garden- how your raised beds are so much smarter than the way we garden.

    Ellen- Well, I always KNOW this but sometimes I truly feel it.

    Lucy- Thank-you, sweetie.

    Silverfinofhope- I have no idea why but I sure am glad.

    Mel- I laid on my back last night in the yard and tried to take a decent picture of the moon. I failed miserably. But wasn't it glorious?

    HoneyLuna- I was so happy in the garden with the chickens. It was a perfect moment.
    I love you too!

  13. perfection.

    and pimento cheese.

    i love it when the wheel swings up. i think the end of summer is making me happy. i think maybe i don't really love summer all that much.

    but i love you.

  14. What a great day. I am so glad Kathleen is doing so well.

    Love you, Mary Moon.


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