Hours ending.

The softness of the soil entrapped in a milkweed’s grasp. The moments between dog barks, airplanes, and old cars driven by young people insistently down the road. The expansion from seed tray to 4″ pots. The addition of seed trays. The tender trust in Echinacea stems.

There’s so much nutrition in the garden before anything ever touches our tongues.

“Hey honey… is there anything sown in the back left bed because…” Sprint outside.

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Dying light.

If I leave the office just when. If the lights time just so. If the traffic behaves just. If, if, if.

I am home with a little light left. Greeted at the door by two gleeful voices, one escorts me to the closet. “Mama work. Mama jacket off?”

Yes, love. As hurriedly as I can. “Mama’s shoes? Closet?” Yes, love. “I do it.” Mmm… My turn. “Up, please.” It is not a question. Outside? “Yesh!”

Outside we traipse. He, on my hip, me seeking peace. Where can I find a sip of calm. Where can I snatch a glimpse of soothing. What can I feed my soul before the light dies.

I uncover the kumquat. I de-leaf the strawberries. I unwrap Bill and find his lit leaves warm at his feet.

I eyeball the compost pile. Is there time? I could…

“Uh oh, mama.” Quickly, I look up. The light is dying. The moment has passed. Only the tips of the neighboring trees are still frosted with the day’s last color. I look over my shoulder. Uh oh, indeed.

Not everyone minds the cold.

It didn’t get above freezing for days. That’s weird here. I’m hopeful for fewer mosquitoes and cabbage fly caterpillars this year.

I don’t know that I’d seen 20 degrees for multiple days in a row since moving here nearly 15 years ago.

This snapdragon didn’t mind the cold, though.

Nor did these dianthus.

I’ll leave the done-for-the-season lantana pruning alone for a bit. The salvia is already sprouting again, so I’ll prune that first.

We’re all still home. We’re all still healing. And the parent-only tropical trip is cancelled for next week. Perhaps this means I’ll catch the first new blooms of the year.