July 2 - Fourth of July, Stories

I hope that everyone is doing well as we move into a new month. In the US it is time to celebrate the anniversary of our founding, the Fourth of July. It seems a bit odd to think about celebrating, yet it sounds like a welcome break from the current world events. In the meantime, I continue to observe and make connections about things happening in my life. I have two stories for this article, so pull up a chair and set a while. I’ve got the kettle on for a cup of tea, or a Keurig for those who prefer coffee. ;-)

Large American flag draped in display on side of building

I have a garden this year, even though I did not plant anything this spring. With a change in work and changes in shopping, I never found an opportunity to shop for plants and start a garden this year. We had a rainy winter and spring, so I did find some time to do some weeding and check on our garden beds. During one check I found what appeared to be tomato plants growing with our peppers. Later on I found squash plants growing with my herbs. I was surprised and decided to see what would happen with the plants. For the tomatoes, I moved them to a location that was protected from squirrels and rabbits nibbling on them. For the squash, I carefully pulled out the plants and moved them to another garden bed where they would have some room to spread out.

We now have two tomato plants that are filled with tomatoes in various stages of ripeness. We’ve already picked a few and enjoyed adding tomatoes to our sandwiches. I also have a pumpkin and some other kind of squash growing in the other garden bed. I believe the tomatoes started from heritage tomatoes that fell off or had problems so I left the tomatoes in the garden. The squash plants started from seeds in our compost heap, which is why I wasn’t sure what the mystery squash is.

Miniature of US battleship, with miniature planes and crewman on flight deck

When thinking about these plants, I thought about how my actions in the past led to good things for right now. For the tomatoes we’ve been working to build up a safe place for the plants to grow, with wire to protect from animals, and better quality soil. Our compost heap has been in progress for a few years now and we are slowly adding the composted soil to the garden beds. In each case, I had done work for our gardens that could be used to build for the future. I also recognized opportunities that resulted from past work.  For me it was a reminder that even though my projects may seem stalled or not progressing that I am creating things that I can build on and use in the future. It was also a reminder to keep an eye out for opportunities, even in areas that may seem dead or not fertile.

For my other story, I was out for a run on our local trail. It was different because it was a rainy day. We normally don’t get days like that in the summer, so it was a nice change. Because of the rain the trail was almost empty, which was a treat for me. The trail has been busier lately as people try to find activities to keep busy and I have missed the solitude of running mostly by myself in the mornings.

As I ran, I enjoyed the feel of the rain and the cooler weather. I also thought about how I was enjoying the day and pushing through the apparent bad weather while others chose to stay home. The rain and cloudy skies were working for me as I used this way to keep moving when I might’ve skipped exercising before. It made me think of current times, with so much bad news, yet there are things that I find positive.

Memorial statue with writing in background for WWII

Our current world is filled with the equivalent of gray clouds, filled with rain that makes it hard to see positives in my life.  I was glad to get a reminder and that I can choose to keep pushing forward or sit and wish that things were better. As I pushed through my run the clouds gradually blew out and the sun came out. I felt more at peace then I have in a while. Meanwhile, more people were walking on the trail, so I lost some of my solitude. However, I and everyone else gained a sunny day. With so many things there is a mix of good and bad, our challenge is to find a way to push through to a more positive attitude as best we can.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster, prints of photos can be found at https://shellcreek.redbubble.com/