Friday, April 10, 2009

A Perfect Moment

Five years ago next month, I drove by a house that had a For Sale By Owner sign on the front lawn. I peeked in the windows of the empty house and saw plenty of sunlight, hardwood floors and a fireplace. I loved it. I knew in my heart that this would be the house that Isabel would spend her childhood.

I checked out the fenced backyard. It was in pretty bad shape. (A lawn guy told me that I would definitely have to sod it.) I don't know whether it was stubbornness or frugality, but I was determined to prove that man wrong and to transform that yard into a place of wonderful memories for my daughter. I just knew I could make it into a beautiful place; I could see it in my mind’s eye.

Working on the yard turned out to be therapeutic. As the time until referral tripled from the original estimate, I spent more and more time working out back. I planted crepe myrtle, Satsuma, and ligustrum trees. I put in day lilies, daisies and hibiscus bushes. I bought a wooden arbor and planted confederate jasmine beside it, already picturing the cascading leaves in years to come. I had a gifted woman carpenter build an amazing deck and pergola in the spot where an old garage had been. By the time I finally received Isabel's referral, it had been almost three years. The yard was everything I had envisioned.

That was almost 2.5 years ago.

The yard now... well, let's just say that the time spent working in a yard has been replaced by being a mom. I find myself overwhelmed with all that has to be tended to out there. I have come to grips with the fact that it will never (or at least not for a while) look like it did pre-Isabel. That is what made this evening so special; it was so unexpected

I had the day off today and mowed the lawn. I was planning on doing the edging after picking Isabel up. When we got home, we headed out to the back yard. The edger was there… waiting just where I had left it. I knew what I should do, but instead … I chose to stop and let myself be in the moment. While I was having my epiphany, Isabel realized that the bird feeders were empty. We went in to get the birdseed and I grabbed a blanket... and the camera.

We put the feeders on the blanket and Isabel filled them… very precisely. Sitting there, in the middle of a freshly mown lawn, I saw everything differently. In front of me, the arbor I put in four years ago is so covered in jasmine that it looks like a green tunnel. The flowers are just about the burst open (most likely tomorrow) and the heady fragrance will fill the house. Behind me, my Satsuma has its first orange blossoms in four years. The perfume transports me back to Seville. To my right, a rose bush is blooming amidst a backdrop of honeysuckle lining the fence.

As dusk turned the sky darker, I lie on my back and looked at the silhouettes of the pecan branches just started to bud. Time stood still. I felt complete peace ... at which point Isabel ran over and insisted that I give her an airplane ride up in the air on my feet. She squealed with delight at being up high. I laughed (and grabbed my camera.)The light didn't last long, but it was long enough. It was better than anything I could ever have imagined.

It was a perfect moment.

1 comment:

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

That is a perfect moment. Love those...they make up for all of the other moments in life that aren't so perfect. How are the garden plans? Are you guys around today? Lets get together.