The rising sun washes the evergreens in soft hues and shadow. Heavy rain and wind the day before shook leaves down and sent heavy-headed flowers crashing down.
The garden centers we visit say that more people are gardening and as a result their stocks of vegetable seeds are thin. Our garden, on which I shower too much attention, boasts blossoming tomato and zucchini plants as July 4th looms.
The garden can be overused as an escape when events threaten. A brother-in-law has been on a ventilator for weeks with little improvement. The Korean War veteran, who like other soldiers, hasn’t forgotten the battle of Frozen Chosen or Gen. MacArthur’s Inchon landing, fights alone.
“Old soldiers," MacArthur famously said when sacked by President Harry Truman, “never die, they just fade away.’’ Years later, Neal Young offered a different take in song, “It’s better to burnout than fade away.’’
My sister, who lost her first husband to lung cancer, asks for prayers. She is strong, much stronger than her youngest brother who after a goodbye to her heads outside seeking calm amid the turbulence.
The twin robin chicks have left the nest and a tiny wren carries sticks and grass to build another. Dogs bark, a lawnmower fires up and a plane hums in the blue sky. A group of women talk and laugh as they walk down the middle of the street, stopping to agree that weather wise, Minnesota doesn’t get any better.
A pickup driver stops and announces that the lawn “looks like a very bad haircut.’’ Cutting had been rushed to beat the storm; I thanked him for his opinion while thinking there is so much more than the lawn to be concerned about.
Kathy has inside jobs for me to do, but I focus on the ragweed in the flower garden and a tall bull thistle. Finding enemies to easily thwart is good therapy.
My brother, who shared a bed with me in the old house that lacked insulation and had windows that leaked cold air and snow, called seeking news. There was little new to offer, so we reminisced about those times we shared empty pockets and bitter cold.
Memories come easily in during unsettled times. The aroma of Mother’s fresh-baked bread and her voice returns to soothe.
“Things always turnout as they should,’’ she said more than once as her son fretted over events that he lacked ultimate control over.
I still believe in those words.
I want to thank you for allowing me into your home. You have been a great gift, one that I highly value. Stay safe, love abundantly and forgive, no matter how difficult it may be to do.
Mychal Wilmes is the retired managing editor of Agri News, now known as Agweek, an agriculture-based newspaper published by Forum Communications Co.