Summer is ending. How we loved being outside.

I am a crazy do-it-yourselfer and I spent hours in the sun: sweating, digging, mowing, weeding, moving rocks, and yes, building a Colorado red flagstone path around the new deck. Finally, fall is here and I am reaping the rewards of my labors of love – my toil in the sun.

I am aware that most people don’t understand how I can get my bliss from this labor of love. But, for those few precious hours, I am alone in a world of toil and peace. I don’t have to worry about what’s happening next week. I don’t have to worry about self-imposed deadlines. I’m just in the moment.

Last weekend, after I finished placing the last of the big rocks (I recovered from other beds I had outlined in the yard) to make a new kitchen garden (near the kitchen and off the deck, of course!), and placing all of the dead limbs we cut from the trees into the compost bin, I finally went inside. I showered, got some cold tea, walked outside and sat in the swing. I looked around and admired my handiwork. I should have been happy with my accomplishments. But my brain wouldn’t stop! I saw all of the things I still needed to do. I was obsessed with the “Fall chores” – getting back to writing the novel, school starting, the outdoor cleanup, the leaves coming, and what I wanted to do next year. I couldn’t stop thinking about the new list! As I was obsessing on these thoughts, my ten-year-old son came out and sat down next to me. We sat silently together, sipped our drinks and looked out at our handiwork. Finally, he broke the silence and said, “We did good, huh Mom?”

I smiled and nodded and gave him a hug, the crazy new list fleeing out of my head. It will be there tomorrow, I thought. We kept on swinging, and enjoyed the silence, the birds, the freshly mowed lawn, and the last of the flowers showing their colors. We only had that moment. But, it was enough.

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