The monarchs are back at my place. I have had swallow tails, painted ladies, and all other kinds of fluttery beauties but I love it when the monarchs come through. My butterfly bush and Joe Pye weed attract them. They come singly, in gregarious groups and preoccupied couples to sample the nectar. Last Sunday I stood out there in the yard near the butterfly garden and just watched. I edged forward carefully. The couples flew around me, swirling, dancing touching each other and narrowly avoiding me in their delight. They land, they flutter near each other and then dart off to another blossom head. I am totally invisible to them, just another plant or tree or pillar to swerve around as they glide in the next round of the dance. I can't tell you how wonderful that makes me feel to be so accepted as part of the landscape. I have finally fit in.
Life on Rabbitville Road has been filled with watching the seasons ebb and flow this year. I have taken time off from writing and have gotten serious about cleaning up my yard and garden. My camera has become my constant companion and I spend each break in my workday wandering around the yard catching this nature spirit or that in full bloom or unselfconscious action. I began my journey of observing this spring. Each new sprout of plant and each set on bud was a new friend to me, or the renewal of an old acquaintance. I cherished their growth and encouraged them with pails of water, mulch and fresh soil. Every week brought new plants into bloom and I reveled in the daffodils, the dogwoods and flowering trees, the holly hocks, the lilies, the hydrangeas and now the hibiscus...color, always fresh color, and a soothing smile for my soul.
Along with the flowers came the stirring of life in the pond. The ice went away, the frogs started moving and the fish surfaced. Insects started flying and crawling about and soon I had dragon flies. A pair of black snakes mated on my front deck. Turtles passed through. Baby toads the size of my little fingernail hopped out of their pond and jumped all over the yard. They scattered as I innocently crossed their path. And I observed. I watched their normal daily activity and embraced my own. Like all of them, I began to live again.