Live in Each Season

“Live in each season as it passes.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Having lived through the wet of winter, the erratic fits of spring, and the scorching heat of summer, it is time to rejoice in the mosaic of fall.

I love the chaos of the fall garden.

All the little starts and shoots have grown tall and wild.

Their well-defined contours are now a tangle of color and cascading form.

They lay all over each other like summer camp friends clinging on – knowing a goodbye is ahead.

Like the joy in seeing my little foster charges grow up and go home, the fall garden is the culmination of winter dreams, spring plantings and summer labors.

And then it starts again.
I walked through this weekend and made notes about what worked and what failed…
which to divide and which to let stand and go to seed.

Maria brought gifts from the plant sale that found new homes adding to next year’s bounty.

And planning is underway for a wedding in the garden next September.

Fall is full of chores – all in good time. First – a breath and a moment to sit, soak it up, and take it all in. Living in the season.

Everything In Its Season

I love the velvety purple stalks of Mexican sage. It heralds fall; its amethyst hues offset by the season’s golden leaves. A perennial in most gardens – but not in our Homeward Bound Memorial Garden. It is too wet in winter, and too hot in summer. The clay soil and baking sun are too much for this tough, but not quite tough enough, sage.

The first three seasons, I moved it to different spots in the garden hoping I would find just the right home for it to thrive. But no amount of pampering made a difference. It was magnificent in fall and gone by spring, never to sprout again.

Now, I treat it as an annual. I find a spot where it can be spectacular while enjoying and enhancing the company of others.

And when it is finished blooming, I thank it for its beauty, plant spring bulbs over it, and bid it a fond adieu.

Despite our best efforts, some things we love are not meant to be with us for long. I think that only makes them more precious.

Lindsey was our miracle puppy. Born an insulin-dependent diabetic, she should not have seen a few weeks much less nearly a year.

“She’s going to break your heart,” our Doc said. It is a kind way of saying ‘let her go.’ If Lindsey had been in pain, we would have seen the wisdom in that. But while Lindsey was a perpetual tiny girl…

she was happy and loved and fawned over until she left us as suddenly as she came to us – passing quietly away in the night.

Cavanaugh is 14.

Karma, only eight.

Both were left in shelters with terminal medical issues. For both, their time is likely measured in weeks, maybe months, but not years. Both were deserving of a much better ending. So they came to us and we were told, “just love them and spoil them.”

This is one of the most important gifts we can offer. Without any expectation that they will see the coming spring, we can be there for them when they need us most.

Karma will be going home this week. We call it hospice foster, matching special needs dogs with extraordinary angels who know that it is not the number of days that count, but the quality of our time together.

It’s hard to love them so when you know the time is short. Still, because the time is short, it is impossible not to love them even more.

“Every blade in the field, every leaf in the forest, lays down its life in its season, as beautifully as it was taken up.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Dogs, like people, do not come with expiration dates. Love while you can. Live every day. Give what you are able knowing that you made a difference. You never know how something beautiful will be reborn.