And all I had to do was water the garden.

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This evening, the air is pure.

It’s wonderfully cool. Not warm, but cool, which here in June isn’t the norm. I’m wearing a light sweater as I water our garden, dusk finally giving way to a few minutes to think. The lightning bugs are flitting by, glowing and dimming, glowing and dimming. I’ve long-since passed the time when I would’ve chased them, but I also know that if my children were out here with me, I might make an exception.

It’s been a long day. Not in a bad way, but a lot was packed into those few hours between waking and resting. A mother’s day is often filled this way, what with feeding and cleaning and rounding up and reading and snuggling. But a moment to myself? Now that’s a treasure of a different sort.

So as I stand in our garden, smelling the tomato plants… I am in heaven. Have you ever smelled a tomato plant? The branches and leaves have this particular fresh smell, especially after it’s rained. It’s a crisp smell, and it rubs off on your skin if you brush it walking by. It smells like… well, it smells like summer.

This moment of sniffing the air, beaming with pride in our accomplished garden, I am certain that this moment is perfect. A full day followed by the hush, crickets, and breeze in my backyard garden was just what I needed to ground myself. I needed to be reminded of something wholesome, something unbroken, something real.

Our world these days is packed with images that have been altered, for better and for worse. Moving pictures, filtered images, computer-generated colors fill our vision and crowd our minds. Yet as much as I appreciate a few minutes of being “unplugged”, I know that I don’t do it nearly enough. I’m not as “hands-free” as I’d like to be. But every time I just rest in a little bit of nature (near or far) I can tell my brain resets, my soul lightens, and my heart is prepared for another day.

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