As I was doing some minor pruning of the plum tree today, I realized how big it's gotten since we planted it the spring of 2001. It was the first tree we put in after moving to Rosehaven Cottage. I remember thinking it would take sooooo long to get big enough to be anything other than the scrawny little WalMart tree that it was. Now I realize that it didn't seem to take any time at all to get to the place where I and the tree are today.
This spring, I made some changes to the landscaping under the plum tree so there is now space to accomodate a chair for me to sit in when I need a break from the sun. As I pruned today, the thought occurred to me how often this spring and summer, I've sat in that chair in the shade of the plum tree and the things I've done while sitting there.
While sitting under the shade of the plum tree...
I've fed the goldfish in the pond right in front of my chair. I've discovered the newest baby goldfish from that vantage point. I've counted how many older fish are still swimming about. I've discovered the first babies to beginning turning orange from their dull baby brown.
I've been serenaded by a goldfinch just a foot or two above my head. It was completely aware that I was there, because it would stop its song periodically to look down at me as if to see if I was still there listening.
I've had one-on-one time with Tom Tom kitty as he has joined me in the garden for his little walking patrols. He sniffs around and then joins me under the plum tree every 5-10 minutes just to check in and rub on me and the chair. I've also witnessed him get very silly and try to run his pudgy senior feline body up the trunk of the plum tree, only to make it about 6 or so inches off the ground.
I've sat quietly listening to the next door neighbor's prepare for a birthday party and play old Mexican classics on their indoor/outdoor stereo. The music takes me to a different place--a vacation in my mind far away from home.
I have surveyed the state of the garden and made mental checklists of things I need to do when it isn't so hot or I'm not so tired from the project I'm taking a break from.
More than anything else, I've taken the time to slow down my body and mind and reconnect with my serene little habitat of a garden. This is hard for me to do--particularly getting my mind to slow down. Somehow I can sitting under the plum tree. It must be the sound of the waterfall not too far away, the sight of the bees and paper wasps getting drinks from the water's edge, the occasional butterfy or dragonfly that flies through, and the sound of unseen birds in the canopy above me.
I hope in the years to come I will do much more, see many more fish born into the pond, and contemplate lots of new ideas all while sitting under the shade of the plum tree. And I hope it will continue to be there to let me.