August

One daughter calls and says, “Mom, my flowers look terrible. They are scraggly, and ugly, and they aren’t blooming anymore.” I say, “Honey, it’s August.”

The other daughter calls. “I’m so over my yard. I’m tired of weeding, and trimming, and cutting back. It doesn’t look great right now.” I say, “Honey, it’s August.”

Today, I was sitting on the patio and my husband noted that the hanging plant had two little flowers blooming. I said, “Actually there are four little blooms if you look at all sides.” Then I said, “Honey, it’s August.” I added this sad truth, “Just like me, the potted plants are no longer in the bloom of youth.

Such is life.

There are seasons to every garden just as there are seasons of our lives.

In May, I can barely wait to get to my happy place, the local nursery, where I can buy plants, create small vistas in my mind of what my small little impossible garden might look like for this year. I think I even dream in color as I begin buying plants and putting them out with a great hope that the wildlife will not think I have created a rich banquet just for them.

By June, the flowers are blooming, the deer are munching on grasses and leaving my flowers alone. Everything seems so glorious. The colors delight my eye and refresh my spirt now that the white days of winter are over. Finally, I can sit on my patio and enjoy the sunshine and flowers.

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By August, the possibilities of just what might be in store for this year’s garden are not longer that: possibilities. Now we have reality. We are in the post-blooming days of summer. We are in the days when I buy a few things to plug up holes where flowers either died, or have quit blooming. Some have been hit by bugs, or disease. Some have fed a hungry bunny or deer.

By August a hard reality hits: if I haven’t planned ahead and planted flowers that bloom in the fall, September’s garden will look bleak, wasted, and long past her glory days.

Yes, such is life.

The truth is, as far as the seasons of life go, I’m not even living in an August garden. The time for telling myself, “Honey, it’s August.” is long gone. I’d be lying if I said I was living in the September of my life because by the time one hits the age of 70, I think that one has already lived the last of one’s September days.

I like to think I am still in the autumn of my life, but one never knows.

All I know is that while August might be a transitional month where we move from summer into fall, it does not mean that new growth will not still be in the future. It does not mean that days filled with color and texture and beauty are over. In August, we move from youthful dreams and summertime days filled with an abundance of flowers into a new season of growth and days filled with stunning shades of red and orange and yellow.

There are many days between August and October. And there even more days until December, so don’t fret over the landscapes that August brings.

Your garden, and your life, may need a new vision. It might mean that some old dreams that just didn’t quite work out need to be dug up and thrown out. Or, maybe they just need to be transplanted to a place where they will get better light and more water.

There are still so many possibilities in August. Look at your life with a gardener’s eye. How can you bring joy and delight to the days that are coming? What needs to be dug up and tossed? What needs to be transplanted? What new plant would be perfect to bring more interest to your garden? Or, in other words, are there new hobbies, or pursuits, or projects that will be perfect for the seasons of life that are to come?

In August, and in the fall, there can be a second blooming. It might mean you will have to cut off the spent blooms from July, but there can and will be a second blooming for those willing to do the work of a gardener.

It may be August, but we still have plenty of months left in the year. What are you doing to do with them?