|Photo: Martin O_ob, Creative Commons, cc license|
Simple images of grandpas and gardens, and two sons in the dirt. My dad, silver-haired, looking more and more like his dad, kneels on dew-dropped grass blades. "I forgot my knee pads," he murmurs, dipping an orange-handled shovel into a shallow channel.
We're building four raised garden beds again, in the new yard. His hair is starting to curl around the edges, "Like Uncle Kurt," my mom and I notice, and he is so much stronger since September's cancer surgeries and the ceremonial-eating of the only apple on the tree.
My twenty-year old son is there for his strength and his love of the outdoors. He and his grandpa wield a borrowed yellow mallet, heavy enough to tip me over when I pass it unexpectedly at one point.
"Can I help? What can I hammer?" hopes six year old Daniel aloud.
"Hey, Daniel. Here's a spot you can hammer." John points to an upraised metal reebar tip and crouches beside his brother, and my mama heart sings.
A red cardinal crows birdeee birdeeee birdeee from the highest point of a silver balsam tree behind us, and the rising morning sun warms us. My nose runs from the cold air. A wind shakes cottonwood seeds down around us from the neighbor's tree.
"Ready for the next post, John?" my dad asks, and I snap out of reverie and jump green corduroy sneakers onto my pitch fork, preparing the soil before them.
Write what you know, right? I know about heavy squares of sod chopped and shaken to save any garden dirt; black-capped chicadees and cardinal soliloquies, and sons with grandpas wielding mallets. I know french-pressed coffee oils swirling atop hot mugs, and dirt under the nails despite three washings. I see hard-working loved ones, and smell rain-fresh brown dirt, sliced grass sod, and lilacs from the neighbor's front yard.
And the moment captured is enough. My job is to see and note.
For you? Is there anything that looms taller with each passing day? Step in, pull up the chair, take that first action. The fear will still be there, I confess, but the hidden joy that comes from doing what you were made to do will spring up and delight you. I promise.
How are you? I've missed you. Catch me up?