a postcard from deep summer…

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.



from the may quiet (and an apology)…

…or the quiet I am trying to create, I should say. My week’s break from work is nearing it’s end, so I am trying to finish up all of the to-dos I made for myself, slowly accomplishing them since Doug and I returned from a little anniversary get-away. To-dos and breaks don’t seem to go together at first glance, but everything I am doing will make my future days more simple and slow, so it feels good to do right now.

One of those to-dos was moving my newsletter mailing list from Mailchimp (busy! too many options!) to an uncomplicated sending of the every-month-or-so-posts here at my blog to your inbox. Unfortunately, getting that finally in place seemed to send a backlog of my blog posts to my inbox, and probably yours, so I do apologize for that! Inundating is exactly the opposite of what I was going for. : ) But from now on, being on my newsletter list will just mean the receiving of this sort of small note to invite you to come and visit my web-home to read the entirety.

If you’d like to respond, you can just reply to the note, which is easier than commenting. I’ve tried to make commenting straightforward, as I know I often don’t comment at other’s blogs if I have to jump through hoops. Aren’t we all so tired from the hoop-jumping online life seems to require of us? But I know it can still seem like too much trouble. As well, since I’ve been trying to post more regularly here, I have found that the spam comments far outweigh the lovely messages from you. And I became disheartened with my blog-renewal. Sifting through yucky spam comments is just the sort of thing I am trying to banish from my days. In future, here at the blog, I will close comments a few days after posting, before the spammers usually find me.

So the making of these posts into missives you’ve signed up for seems like a wise compromise. I hope you feel so, too. If not, there will always be an unsubscribe button at the bottom of each “postcard from the hedgerow” I send your way. It is, as always, a privilege. I hope this finds you well! It finds me healing from some new/old issues, moving very gently into the ever-so-green world-fully vaccinated, and continuing to try to find and keep my feet on the path of wild simplicity. I am glad to meet you now and then along it.