I did not realize that about a year-and-a-half has passed since my last post. Maybe I will post more this year, but I cannot guarantee it.
Sometimes, I find myself thinking about Spring 2020. I never thought I would miss that season, but I do. It was a strange time of unpredictability and uncertainty for everyone, but there was a sense of peace and simplicity about it, too.
I enjoyed working from home, and I enjoyed that for the first time, I actually had time to create and tend a garden. It wasn’t the best garden in the world, but to me it was. The sunflowers thrived and attracted gold finches, and the wildflowers grew wild and crazy. Granted, the sunflowers did not last long when the squirrels realized they were edible, but there was a twisted sort of humor in their destruction. It was hard not to laugh when I watched a squirrel shimmy up a sunflower stalk, gnaw off the largest sunflower head, eat half of it, and leave the rest strewn about the lawn like evidence in a murder scene.
Then, there was the monarch butterfly garden. I had wanted one for a long time, and after reading blogs and watching videos, I realized it would not be too difficult to create one. You simply had to grow the milkweed, and they would come. And, they did come. Somehow, out of all the yards in my city and all of the yards on their migratory pattern from Mexico to Canada and back again, the monarchs found the milkweed I grew for them.
At first, I did not realize the monarchs had come even though I checked the milkweed, which eventually grew to waist-height, every day. Then, late in the summer—August, I think—I noticed that the milkweed looked thin and patchy. Apparently, the monarchs had come! At one point, counted about 25 large caterpillars munching. They munched so much that I had to buy them extra milkweed at a local garden store.
I took some inside away from the elements, housing them in a mesh enclosure, and I left the rest outside. I had the honor of watching them transform. It was a mysterious (and slightly gross) process that reminded me that God is real and values details.
I repeated this experiment last year, but I was away from home for too many days in a row, and all of the plants suffered. The sunflowers were scrawny, and the milkweed only yielded a few caterpillars. But this year, I won’t be away quite so much and want to try again.
In a way, I am trying again because I want to recreate the Spring of 2020. It is not that I want to return to that time, but I do miss the general atmosphere of those days. Life was a bit quieter in a way that it is not anymore. But, then again, I think that’s life.