Last week a friend led me to a NY Times article about languishing. It described the state many of us find ourselves in because of the pandemic…somewhere between depression and flourishing. Languishing is not new to me (tho’ I love having such a satisfying word for it) as I’ve found myself there now and then for many years. But the pandemic (and menopause) mean that lately it has felt deeper and lasted much longer than usual.

Summer, when it fully arrives with sultry heat and the weeds that glory in it, is when I languish the most-pandemic or no. These photos are all from lovely June…before the milkweed flowers and the hydrangea faded…and the white, haven-like rooms upstairs were still comfortable…and the poison ivy and insects of all sorts hadn’t overcome me.

These days, I am mostly inside in front of a fan, except for brief morning walks if I wake up early enough or a trip to the mailbox in the shade of an umbrella. The garden is also languishing because I am, and I feel ok about that, most of the time. We pick blackberries, the tomatoes are coming on, the potatoes harvested. I can do without garden-fresh squash and beans and cucumbers, tho’ that is probably a sign of my languishing that I feel so.

But now that my beloved tennis tournaments are finished and I don’t have those long hours of escape…and knowing I really do want to feel more lightness in my days (and my body!)…and tossing in the loneliness that I fully acknowledge is my companion of late, an idea came to me that I am bringing into being at Wisteria & Sunshine. It is my gentle antidote to languishing. Sort of a summer camp but only because it is summer : ) and I want it to feel more like play than anything else. Doing something in company felt like an important ingredient, since knowing that others feel as you do is comforting, and doing something together is also heartening, for all of us who might be seeking a remedy for malaise, whatever its source.

It was interesting to read in the languishing article that the remedy is…

“Taking on a small but achievable challenge – a project, a puzzle, a modest goal – that can sharpen your focus and rekindle your enthusiasm for life.”

…for even before reading the article, I had begun to ponder ways to lift my spirits, cope with familiar summer struggles and how to share it within the sheltered walls of Wisteria & Sunshine. Those ponderings have evolved into tiny projects, explorations and attentions (we’ve just begun in the last few days with a summer notebook and a prompt!) that will unwind throughout the rest of the summer, as a part of the gentle summer we were already seeking there. Gently is really the only way I can look after my life now, the only way I wish to. And it seems to be striking a chord amongst our gathering, too. I’m even thinking about re-opening the Rosehip Business room at Wisteria & Sunshine, so those of us with businesses can have a peaceful place to discuss how to look after them gently, too. It’s all of a piece, of course.

As I end this missive, I am aware that you may reading it at my blog, or you may be reading it in your inbox…this is new. In the spirit of simplicity, this is what I’ve come up with to make it easier to keep in touch. The spam comments at my blog were just becoming too ugly to keep in my life, and the old newsletter system was yet another place to login and keep track of. Hopefully, this brings it all together in a way that still looks and feels the way you have come to expect. Tho’ I noticed that the pretty cursive fonts I use for emphasis on my blog don’t translate to the emails, and I am sorry about that.

These posts/missives are the most pleasant to look at on the blog, so do click over if you’d like. Comments are closed there, so if you would like to respond to these missives, simply reply from your inbox. And if you are reading at my blog but not yet receiving these posts as emails, please sign-up to do so via the “newsletter” link at the top of the page. There. Housekeeping done.

That just leaves me to wish you a lovely, not-too-hot week ahead, and that you find refreshment in it, whatever the weather. And all of my fond thanks for welcoming me into your inbox! It would be a joy to see you at Wisteria & Sunshine, if you are not already in our company there.