One balmy day was all I needed.

We came out of church last Friday evening and the wind was blowing warm. It was the softest… Blow and blow it did through the night, knocking down leaves and branches and clumps of mistletoe, banging my garden gate.

Saturday morning I walked on the bike path and it was the happiest, friendliest neighborhood walk I’ve experienced in two years. Many many people and no masks, so you could take in their smiles and their open faces turning this way and that to say “Good morning!” to everyone… Whole families on bicycles and dozens of dogs on leashes. I’m sure that in all my decades of walking that route people have never before been that happy in an outward direction.


When I got home from my walk, and was not driven indoors by any sort of chill, I wandered the back yard and saw that the manzanita buds are out. My row of Stir-Fry Mix greens needed thinning, and because of the sun shining and all, I did it then and there. I took the thinnings in and washed them immediately in the sink. Springtime energy in January!

Recently I had the only tree on my property trimmed to please the neighbors, over whose back yard most of the tree’s mass hangs threateningly. It is a tall Canary Island Pine and my late husband and I have resisted several times outside pressure to just cut it down. I tried to take a flattering picture but there is no way to do that, because it is a gangly thing.

Our book group chose Silas Marner to read over the next four weeks. I could not find my old paperback that I last read probably 15-20 years ago, but tucked behind the trim of the bookcase I found this smallish volume:

It was my grandmother’s school book! She was probably reading it in about 1910 in Winona Lake, Indiana where she grew up. I did not remember seeing it before, though I am sure I was the one who put it on the shelf, who knows when. There are quite a few pages with her notes like this:

I had been reluctant to commit to reading with the group this month, but now that I have found this copy of Silas I can’t resist reading along with my grandmother.

I have eaten half of the greens, chopped into a pot of tomato soup this afternoon. The balmy weather lasted one day, and now we are back to January. But that blessed day snapped me out of the endurance mode into expectation.  I have a nice fire going in the stove and wonderful books to read as I sit by it.

I haven’t been accomplishing very much this month if one looks at my to-do lists. But maybe the important things are not listed there. I’ve been trying not to get caught up in things that I don’t really care about… so here is a good quote, to help me end my post:

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.”

– Lao Tzu

11 thoughts on “One balmy day was all I needed.

  1. The quote you have chosen is so apt for this incredibly hot weather we are experiencing right now. This post is spiritually uplifting – as so many of yours are. You find joy in so many things.


  2. Oh, this is so wonderful and I’m so happy for you. I long for a day like this but I suspect it will be a few months before we’ll even get to “coolish” (as opposed to “really cold!”) and certainly many months before balmy! The thing I miss most about isolating is the seeing of other people — especially without masks, which will only come when I am outside again. It sounds perfect, like a fairy tale. And your gardening reminds me of a Jeri Landers video, harvesting greens and making your lunch. That book is SUCH a treasure. I’m so glad you found it.


  3. Sunday was a nice balmy day. That was why I had to do a BBQ with my kids who live in town. Just because it felt so wonderful to have warm sunshine. It did cool off but it was a wonderful day. I love those flowers in your window sill, what are they? I loved your copy of Silas Marner.How wonderful to be able to read along with her. I have books my grandmother and I shared and I love when I come upon her marks and commentary. Your yard is so pretty and so is your tree. I am so glad you didn’t cut down that tree. I loved that you got to see faces. Never before in my life, have I appreciated faces and smiles. They are all a gift. I am sorry I took it for granted. Have a lovely day.


  4. What a lovely post, Gretchen ❤️ Balmy days are definitely full of promise. I just made cream of mushroom soup with the huge box of mushrooms that were languishing in the refrigerator. We have a very snowy day so hurrah for soup. Also, we got a juicer machine and we’ve been enjoying nutrient-laced jars of goodness for several days. Also, I bought a waffle iron at the grocery store. 😂 They are so fluffy and beautiful. I love the picture you painted in my mind of walkers and families on bikes facing the world. May we lift our faces to Him and know His grand love.


  5. A balmy day like you enjoyed is such a gift in January. Love the picture you painted of happy faces on the path. It’s chilly here, and there will be soup for dinner, but the sky is brighter than it has been, and there are tiny shoots in the garden that fill me with delight.


  6. Your grandmother’s old book with her notes in it is a treasure. So is that venerable old pine which you had to have trimmed ( but at least not cut down).
    A balmy day would be very inspiring. Our forecast is for sunshine but that fog just won’t move on. I’m making to-do lists and checking things off so that when the balmy days do come I’ll be free to be outside.


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