Today is the fifth anniversary of The Bower.
All week, when I had a spare hour or two, I tidied up a corner here and there or rearranged a piece or two of furniture.  I finally added all of the lovely places I visit to my “lovely places” page, added a search box which you will find on the “delve” page,  a button in the right sidebar will now take you to my archives and a few other things were tucked here and there for you to find.
All by way of thanking you for reading and gazing and conversing.
I wonder if you know how much I value what goes on here? I know I have mentioned it before
but I always hold back a bit. The truth is (and today I seem only to be able to say what is very true) that the comments I receive in response to my posts are one of the delights of my life. And as I read at Alice’s blog:

“a multitude of small delights constitute happiness”

Charles Baudelaire  

…the writing, the reading, the sharing of beauty, the humor, the making of friends…so many delights and, therefore, so much happiness to be found.


I asked my son Caleb if he had any recent photos of me, a certain someone having mentioned
that it might be time for a photo of the hens and me. This was the only one Caleb had. My first thought was “I must Photoshop out my belly.” My second thought was “Oh, everyone would see how much the well-house needs painting.” and “The fallen branch looks ugly.” and finally “And Juniper isn’t looking her best, either, in fact you can barely see her.”
Then I thought that I might just tell you that my belly is big because I have a fibroid there that
won’t go away but that I continue to try to heal (and I didn’t know that Caleb was taking my picture and so didn’t get to suck in my stomach!), and I am twenty pounds heavier than I like to be because since I became a caregiver I eat too much comfort food and don’t exercise enough, that that well-house has needed painting for more than a little while and we have many dead twigs and branches and whole trees around our garden and fields and that the woods are chock-full of them.
When I take another look at this photo, I see the table and chairs where we gathered with friends and family on Easter Day, and the sunlight on my hair, the buttercups spangling the grass, the cool splash of water from the pump and remember that I could smell the mint beneath my feet as I stood there.
It is all real…and I don’t know why it is so natural to edit and crop. Just this once at least, I will leave in my belly and post the photo of the eggs that has the droopy, yellowed onion grass (instead of the one where I tucked the distracting strands out of sight) and won’t reread this and tweak, but will just send it out to you from me. The me who is less flowery than she was five years ago, a bit more worn and tired, but still so happy to be here and hearing from you.