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Ever get a moment to examine what's accumulated in your life? I am not talking about the dishes by the sink, the laundry, the voicemail messages, or the diapers in the bin. What comes to mind is more of the blessings, mysteries and curses that shape our every day lives - what my Alabaman grandma would call our "lot in life".

All day today, little reminders of the gifts I've been given kept popping up. The recent gift of rain swept my garden clean, and today's sun helped me to rise early with a fresh burst of energy for working outside. I smiled at the stack of straw I'd pulled pack to do my spring planting, remembering Cozette's autumn birthday party where straw bales were the children's party props. We'd loaded a bale in our truck with thoughts of putting it to some unknown use in our garden, later learning that it makes a terrific mulch. With the spring plants well rooted and seeds popping up in the rain soaked soil, the beds were begging for a straw blanket to seal in the free water. We've never worked mulching into our veggie gardening before, but this year's water shortage will make the gift of Cozy's party straw ever more valuable.

The last few days of rain worked magic for our soil and plants, but some things were beaten down in the recent water and wind. Half of our tallest pink rose toppled over on the ground, blocking the walkway to our veggie garden. We sadly removed the broken rose, but immediately found ourselves joyful again as the plentiful buds filled up a crystal vase on our kitchen table. The whole room brightened as the rose found a new purpose and place.

Outside again, we used our fresh energy to put other garden blessings to work. We harvested spinach for dinner, and cut back some of the fallen fava bean branches. Bryles puffed up with the important task of handling the scissors as I held branches. Then we worked together to shell the beans for our dinner and to cut the remaining plant pieces into a "salad" for the garden. We tucked the salad under the hay covering the veggie beds to give our seedlings a surge of nitrogen and nutrients.

Still enjoying our cutting work, we moved on to dead heading Luther Burbank's peppery smelling, pink climbing rose. We are keeping small buds for drying and making sachets later this year - the fragrance is intense and long lasting.

We took a break to admire a few lady bugs climbing through the tiny blue flowers on the isotoma plants, and determined we needed to capture this moment on camera.

After getting a few great bug shots, Bryles reminded me that we needed to photograph our wool pile. A kindred spirit and friend through Waldorf's Blossoms program gave us a whole bag of wool on Tuesday. Bryles favorite song lately has been "Baa - baa black sheep, have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full..." and he was thrilled to bring home his very own bag! I too was excited, although this pile represents a whole new project for me to top an already too long list! The wool is freshly sheered and still full of grass, sticks, and - YES - sheep poop! Our wool pile is mottled with brown, black, and yellow wool awaiting our care and cleaning. We saved this morning's bath water to rinse a sample bundle clean and found that the our sheep's wool is actually white!!! We used our feet to stomp out the water and dirt, and ended up with shockingly pristine fibers.

How all of these gifts have come to us is a mystery to me. While I've felt cursed by some misfortunes, including losing my job in December, all of the time this "curse" allots me allows me to make the most of "my lot in life." Bryles and I are off to finish pressing the tiny blue borrage flowers the bees love... We will pull a few of these wild, weedish plants to clean up the area near our lavender. Still, I am learning how even these stray plants can be gifts as I make the effort to find ways to glorify and use all that I am given.

1 comments

  1. Minnow // May 8, 2009 at 6:39 AM  

    Borage flowers are a yummy treat to eat right off the plant. I had them on my wedding cake.
    ~Minnow

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