Tonight I Am Grateful

by Annette Meyer

The wind is restless tonight, air currents surging and retreating, as waves tossed on an unsettled sea go running ahead of a strong storm front approaching. Tornado watches, warnings of hail, high winds and torrential rains are common at this time of the year here in the South. No reason to fret for what can be done about the weather except to wait patiently for whatever the early morning hours will bring to us? Who among us on Earth can stop the wind from blowing as it sets its own course. It goes about as it is allowed to by an eternal higher power.

The fresh air and elemental sensations tonight draws me outside to the front porch swing. My internal need to reconnect with the night is more important than a few extra hours of sleep would be for me.

The familiar swing creaks and clanks as I settle down upon it. I could never begin to guess how often through the years this wood, chain and metal contraption has beckoned, has welcomed my tired body, has been my comfort and my refuge from the goings on inside the house.

Tonight I am grateful that most of the drama and turmoil that has been my emotional undoing over the past few years here no longer swirls around us. This current peacefulness is nothing but a miraculous answer to my prayer! The supernatural hedge of protection that I asked for now keeps turmoil outside the boundary lines; the serenity for those who live within the borders is quite noticeable!

When I came outside it disturbed several of the momma yard cats. When the door opens they come running, hoping to be fed a late evening snack. I stopped doing that when I came face to face with the large opossum wandering around the food bowls last week.  Opossums may look a bit hideous and unfriendly, but they eat ticks and other nasty little things (like snakes), so as long as they don’t fight with the cats and do any other damage near the house, I’ve decided to be alright with sharing some figs and other such fruits that they poach off the trees. But I’m not buying them cat food too!

Unsettled by all the rustling of leaves and limbs, the noticeably increasing wind carries unnatural sounds of sleepy songbirds chirping their displeasure at being shaken about.

I can see the new smaller hummingbird feeder swinging in the shadows near the kitchen window. Monday I removed the old feeder for a good cleaning and hung this one in its place. Contaminated nectar and black mold will sicken or kill hummingbirds; I certainly don’t want to be a party to that!  I’ve been watching closely all week and now I’m wondering if the one hummingbird that has been here for seven or eight days has moved on as the new feeder is still tip top full. I do hope others show up soon.

I have delayed mowing the yard for weeks now to give the wildflowers time to grow, bloom and reproduce so that the birds, bees, and bugs could have a plentiful supply of flowers this spring. I finally cranked up the mower and made a few rounds in the yard this evening. As I passed along the fencerow, I was glad to see that the huckleberries are beginning to ripen. Another week or so and the birds and I should be competing for a harvest.

I informed Daddy tonight that he has a few days to get himself excited about helping me do some berrypicking. He hasn’t been motivated to walk outside for the past week. Weather changes affect him and he’s been needing more sleep the past few days. The danger of sleeping more is that he will soon begin to grow weaker from the lack of daily exercise. Parkinson’s will do that to you; if you don’t use it you will lose it quickly. We have to hold the ground that we do have.

Daddy has always enjoyed picking berries and a variety of other produce from his own orchard. My plan is to entice him to try picking again as the assorted berries, fruits and produce ripen – or at least maybe he can come sit outside in the cool shade to watch me pick; just making more memories of gardening together. Maybe we’ll get seconds of Mom’s fresh fruit pies as a bonus! Now that makes all that work worthwhile!

Have yourself a blessed and productive week!

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