The calendula lasts longer than this moment.

hopbush may 2016 close
Hopbush – dodonaea purpurea – right now


What a strange day… starting with a strange night, during which I was awake for four hours. What? At first I tried to pray and go back to sleep at the same time, but after an hour or so of that I switched on the light and sat in bed writing in my journal. I didn’t turn on my phone – yay for me! But if I had I might have been able to talk with my dear cousin who was wishing from the East Coast that she could talk to me, as she wrote, “I wish you were not still asleep.” Little did she guess that I was not.

Mexican Bush Sage




Eventually I slept a little more, and got up late. Today is sunnier than in a long time, and I noticed out the window the hopbushes that line the fences, also looking brighter than ever decked in their flowers. I took my lunch outside to eat under the umbrella, with my back out of the shady area and baking, but as in a very slow oven, so I remained in place.

I conversed with friends blog-style about moments and fleeting time and what happens to those moments: Are they like the picture Annie Dillard paints in words for us, “…a freely given canvas… constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream….” ? The violence of her image doesn’t set well with me now, but just a few months ago its tone would have matched what I was feeling, not about a moment but about the entire lifetime of my husband.

Now here I am, in a lovely moment, a warm and springy afternoon with birds and insects crossing paths in the  air around me. The bird bath has water in it and the towhees are taking advantage of that — or is it just one towhee who has a daily bath, and a long one at that? He splashes around for about five minutes while I watch and wait from the kitchen window, because I know that when he’s satisfied I will need to refill the bowl.

Near the birdbath is one of my two remaining Mexican Bush Sage plants. The old one at which I used to watch hummingbirds out my window for several months of the year was dug up and divided into six plants. The one we transplanted into the new garden died, and the others spent the winter in pots, three of which I gave away on Freecycle this week. I always forget until I get up close, how furry the flowers of this plant are.

Echinacea Cheyenne Spirit May 2016
echinacea – Cheyenne Spirit

And the echinacea are already blooming. At this time I have six of this variety, but no traditional purple ones. I was planning to buy a purple one to replace one that was eaten by snails, but didn’t find one anywhere.

As I bask in this moment of an hour or more I am writing, yes, because that is what I do with many of my moments and minutes and hours. It isn’t often that I am enjoying a space other than my computer corner while I write, but today I’ve written in two other places. Because I took the trouble to move myself out here to the spot in my garden where I have the wide view of everything from Margarita Manzanita to the bird feeders to the greenhouse, my moment seems to expand into deliciousness. And this isn’t the time to wonder where it has gone, poof!



I was planning to sit out here and read this book that I haven’t given up on by any means, but have been neglecting. Then I looked aside and saw the first calendula flower, and this is what happened. But now I will get down to business.



Solar Flashback calendula May2016
calendula – Solar Flashback

11 thoughts on “The calendula lasts longer than this moment.

  1. I couldn’t sleep last night either.

    Calendula gel from Whole Foods has become my best friend in OK where the mosquitoes are ravenous. I think it was Indiana or maybe Michigan where I have seen fields of Calendula.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Is that iced tea or iced coffee?

    Love, love, love those gorgeous flowers. Who can help but be distracted by flowers blooming everywhere? The book will be there, the flowers are fleeting.


  3. so you don’t have a landline…? I still have one and a mobile; the mobile doesn’t work all that well on the farm and the carrier isn’t good in rural areas. I think I’m glad I’m not organized.


  4. It is nice to switch things up, as in writing in a different place. I tend to sit in my hubby’s old recliner for most everything I do. Of course, my space is limited, but I could move to the couch or out to the balcony. How adventurous that would be, lol.

    I have a lot of those nights when I lie awake…thinking. It is good prayer time, but then I lie awake some more. 🙂 Not good when you have to get up early.

    Enjoy your garden and your writing!


  5. “But now I will get down to business.” No need. You were already doing that. And it was productive–for me (all of us) as well as for you.


  6. Lovely words…I especially loved your simile of your back baking “as in a very slow oven.” What a gracious gift to be able to write. Words on paper, written words. (even on computers).

    Your garden flowers are familiar to me and precede my garden’s blooms by just weeks.


  7. I can envision you with your journal in bed, sleepless, as so many of us often are. We should arrange some signal to call one another in such moments. God can hear us, though. I, too, often write in the middle of the night, or use the time for prayer. So often I’m so distraught I can only say, Come Lord Jesus, or The Lord’s Prayer over and over. And I’m not even Catholic. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I couldn’t sleep that night either! I was so cold and it was raining ALL night onto the tent so it was magnified in terms of loudness!! I always remember my old vicar saying that when you can’t sleep, perhaps God wants you to pray at that moment because someone, somewhere needs your prayer. The trouble is, I never think of that when I am lying awake- I just frantically want to get to sleep!

    Liked by 1 person

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