At first it is mildly unsettling. Occasionally it produces full blown histrionics. (Just ask my family.) Now, I am just learning to live with it, in a one-day-at-a-time, al-anon kind of way. It's this:
I often just don't recognize my life anymore.
For years the contour of my days was circumscribed by my boys, my garden, my obligations and interests. Not an unusual thing. Experienced by millions of women everywhere, every day. Unique and special only because they were MY boys, MY garden, MY interests. Which is, of course, true of all of us. Now it's just MY turn to not recognize my life.
One day, because of the passage of time, the vagaries of weather or climate change, the rhythms of life.............we realize that nothing is how we have come to know it. Not our children, our beloved gardens, our interests, our tastes, our ambitions. They have all changed and are changing.......day by day, minute by minute, cell by cell.
Dramatic, evolutionary coping strategies are called for and will, over time, present themselves. (To remain sane, one does have to believe that, after all.) Eventually, like so many others, I will embrace all of the changes, both the subtle and the not so subtle. The exciting and the terrifying.
But for right now, in this moment, I need immediate succor. I need comfort food. Gardening comfort food.
I need zinnias.
ZINNIAS! I said!
And pu-leeeezzz, not those tiny little thumbelina, lilliputian kinds. I need the big guns. My normally very particular self is less fussy here. Any variety with the words giant, mammoth, or huge in the description will do.
No whimpy colors either. Absolutely no pastels. I want the vibrant oranges, reds, golds, hot pinks and purples.....
(though I do like those lime-green 'Envy' ones...) Heavy-weight late summer colors that can stand up
to that blazing Oklahoma sun and its harsh, white hot sky............ and my surly temperament about now.
And I want big portions of them. BUCKETS of them.
And since I'm in no mood to play well with others right now,
neither can my zinnias. They must stand alone in their vases...........no frilly supporting cast members to tone down their beautiful brashness.
I take satisfaction in knowing that, unlike the rest of my life, I have tamed them, bent them to my will, they are under my control.
In short, they are fabulous.
Until towards the end of summer when they get kinda mildewy and leggy, of course. Sigh...
C'est la vie....