The broccoli are abuzz.

I still tend to run light on flowers in the garden. I’m slowly learning when to sow what where. I know each year I can count on one prolific bloomer to feed the early bees and it’s a sunshine-yellow reminder to ignore the boxes we so often try and think within.

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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.

All of my sweet peas.

We had a bit of a scare this week. A third pediatrician’s appointment turned into a direct admit at the Children’s hospital. A hard three days and two nights full of only best-case-scenario outcomes and we came home yesterday.

This Christmas, I am grateful for the health of all of my sweet peas. Least of all, these ones:

Soft light covers

I didn’t sow any snow peas this year… odd.

They didn’t mind their light blanket so much as their bean neighbors did. A small final harvest, but I marvel at any bean harvest in December.

The volunteer cherry tomato plant weathered the frost, so those will not be the last winter bites of tang.

And skeptical of the forecast, my love harvested the limes. Twenty two in all and when he unwrapped Bill the next day, he was no worse for the wear…including a few incognito limes left hanging.

I do hope the butterflies will return to the lantana. There was a true kaleidoscope of them alight upon the blossoms some days.

As was then, as it is again.

We were watching Iron Giant, for the 40th time. And I’d realized I hadn’t actually ever watched it. Not all of it, anyway. 
We’re at the end. The army is attacking the Iron Giant. He’s fighting back. “He’s bad, mama. The Iron Giant’s eyes turn red and he’s very bad.”

Me: Oh, honey. He’s not bad. He’s doing bad things right now, but he’s not bad. 

C: Why’s he doing bad things?

M: He’s programmed to do bad things when people try to hurt him. The Iron Giant’s programmed to fight back if people hurt him.

C: Why are they hurting him, mama?

M: They don’t understand him, honey. And sometimes, when people don’t understand things, they get scared. And sometimes when people get scared, they fight. 

C: I’m not scared.

M: I know, honey. You’re brave and strong and smart. And someday, when you don’t understand something, you will know you don’t need to be scared just because it’s different. You can ask questions or say hi or just watch. 

C: Why are they being so mean, mama? They’re scared?

M: Yes, love. They’re scared because they don’t understand. And they’re fighting because they are scared. But we don’t fight when we don’t understand or when we’re scared.

C: I’m not scared, mama. They don’t need to be scared or fight or not understand. They can say hi. 

M: I know, love, I know.