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(c) 2014 Trina Lambert

(c) 2014 Trina Lambert

The south side of our lawn is exploding with color—no thanks to us—well, not directly anyway. Those hollyhocks and sunflowers growing so boldly are volunteers who showed up thanks to what we’ve planted at some point in previous years. Due to efforts from birds, squirrels, and/or wind, they thrive, blooming wherever they find their seeds have taken root, with no particular pattern to where they are growing.

While bees hum and finches burst out in joyful song, I marvel at this harvest of sorts from seeds planted so long ago. These self-seeding plants remind me that even during long fallow periods, new life can spring up from past cultivation. The hollyhocks sunning themselves today are many generations removed from those seeds I put in the soil maybe eight years ago. Yet despite my current neglect of the garden space, they grow thanks to what I began so many seasons before.

When so much about growth seems to be difficult—the constant battles with weeds, bare patches, pests, fluctuating moisture, and challenging weather—unexpected abundance also teaches me that though life is a force only slightly within my control, it is also good. Growth that is meant to happen will do so, even under tough conditions—or maybe even because of those conditions.

Who knows what else will volunteer in my life—no thanks to any efforts of my own or so long after I worked my hands in the dirt that I have forgotten seeds once sown.

(c) 2013 Trina Lambert

(c) 2013 Trina Lambert

Breaking news—I am tapping on my keyboard in front of the monitor in my office. This really is big news because I am no longer just using my laptop on my lap in some chair or on the dining room or kitchen table as I have done for most of the time since I got my puppy—yes, that’s the puppy who is now 2 ½ years old. You see I initially fell into that work-at-home habit because he was just too “big” to fit in my office, no matter how small he was. He was always running around and needed lots of space—and plus, it was so much easier to puppy-proof the other rooms. Though I can work anywhere, I know it’s really helpful to have the option to go to a space dedicated just for working.

Just yesterday ARC picked up my old heavy oak L-shaped desk and drove off with it. My modest-sized 1940s former bedroom/now office breathed a sigh of relief—and so did I. Until I figure out just what sort of work space I want to create, I am working from a short utility table that has just enough room to fit the printer, monitor, keyboard, laptop, and a pencil cup. It’s the end of the world as I have known it lately and I feel more than fine.

My husband Sherman is going to make me some sort of desk from a solid-core door, but we haven’t quite decided what all it is I need in a desk. So far we’ve looked at Lowe’s and Pinterest for ideas. I’m feeling the need for advice because, let’s face it, we use desks differently than we used to do. Though I’m still trying to break away from all the paper documents and references, this isn’t going to be a virtual-only workspace yet. However slowly I am making strides toward saving the trees of the world, I am still going to need some file cabinet space. Nonetheless, I am trying to figure out if I can live with some sort of bins instead of a drawer for supplies—isn’t that what right-brained organizers, such as I am, are supposed to like anyway?

Anyway, getting rid of the desk and reorganizing the office is just another way we are clearing out the unnecessary clutter that has been hogging too much space in our home. Time seemed to stand still and speed up at the same time when my mother’s health troubles set in—leaving little time and energy for the difficult tasks surrounding keeping track of “stuff”—especially that belonging to others. That my back injury followed soon after her death most definitely did not help with the process, either.

Though it is way past time to move everything out, thank goodness we’ve made such great progress this summer. As I mentioned earlier this month, Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way program reminds artists and other creative people that getting rid of what no longer works for us creates space for new growth. On that vein, taking care of the office is especially important to my long-term professional growth, whether more of that growth happens here in my own space or in someone else’s space. This room is the room where I get down to business more than any other room in my home. This is my “room of my own”—and I’ve been away from it for far too long.

Glad to be back in my own office chair in my own space where my seat is most firmly planted. Ready, set—grow!

(c) 2012 Sherman Lambert

(c) 2012 Sherman Lambert

One delightful aspect of the Blogging A to Z Challenge is that it challenges me to work within some parameter, even if the parameter is simply that I must write about a certain letter of the alphabet. Not one of those people who plans out a theme or does posts in advance, I want to see what I can come up with in the moment. Deep, silly, whatever. And if I have no ideas of my own, I get to check out my regular or slang dictionary to see if something will grab me—even better when I discover words or phrases that are new to me.

So it is with viridescent—it’s like iridescent—only with just one color of the rainbow and, perhaps, lacking the luster—for now.

Slightly green—who knew?

Well, slightly green describes how the grass and other plants have appeared peeping out from underneath the snow. Usually April is all about emerald green and iridescent raindrops drying on the vine, blade, stem, leaf, etc. This April has been a tease as the green has remained so often hidden. We have been way more than slightly green with envy when hearing about tulips and daffodils that are not only surviving but thriving in other parts of the country.

But if green is all about growth then viridescent or slightly green is the beginning of that growth, those baby shoots that will stretch out for and reach into maturity.

Today I’m thinking about my daughter for whom so much is changing in those areas that are so huge for college students: studies and relationships. As much as she has tried to add Miracle-Gro to that which has been such a big part of her college life so far, the desired blooms have not continued. So easy to feel black and blue, but the truth is also slightly green—those baby shoots are coming up underneath what has ceased to grow.

I have no idea if it hurts the grass to grow or the tree when the buds unfurl, but for humans, the greening process can be more than a little painful, especially if you’re not quite ready to give up on the old growth—even if that growth has become stagnant.

April’s early growth, so recently blanketed by snow, has thrown off its covers. What was viridescent is now verdant and lush. Though delayed and behind schedule, there is still time to blossom.

(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

There’s a rose blooming in our trellis, with another one set to open up any day. It’s an unusual summer when our early June-blooming roses make an encore appearance, but I guess this summer qualifies as pretty rare around here.

I like to think it’s a sign from the roses that always explode right around the time of our kids’ birthday(s)—they know the kids have got some more blooming to do—and it’s a whole new season for them. These are not the last roses of summer, with all the melancholy of the Thomas Moore poem, but bonus roses, full of promise.

I’ll admit I’m plenty wound-up in these final days before our big change. So much to do: medical appointments, paperwork, buying supplies, decisions, worry about the already dwindling bank account. Yet so little time just to enjoy being together.

It would be easy to miss the roses, let alone find time to smell them. I’m lucky I stood still long enough to notice the unexpected pink peeking through green.

So I continue to sneak peeks at them when I can, even if I don’t often stop moving long enough to inhale deep appreciation of their beauty and scent.

We take the moments when they happen. Spending time badly hitting colored golf balls on a late summer night with Jackson. A dinner alone with Christiana where she admits she’ll miss us just a bit and we agree—but don’t deny we still plan to enjoy sleeping more.

This is the first week I haven’t taken first day of school pictures and then scrubbed the floor not long after morning classes began, a tradition I started when they went to kindergarten in 1997. An introvert, I ignored the PTO’s invitation to spend that first awkward morning with others.

Instead, I washed the grime of summer from my kitchen floor and then went downstairs to write my feelings out. That first school goodbye I didn’t really regret they had taken the next big step to independence as much as I knew a small part of me had to acknowledge the nevermore of their preschool days in order to let them move on.

So I listened to the blues—kids’ blues that is on the Big Blues CD by Music for Little People.

(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

I still love Michelle Shocked’s “Flying Lesson” from that collection. At one point I put together my own collection of writings written around how my kids’ flying lessons and increased independence also gave me room to soar through my own flying lessons—a collection I will probably keep writing throughout the rest of my days.

So we’ve made it through a whole series of flying lessons, yet the kids are about to experience many more in the next few weeks, only this time they won’t be returning to our nest after each lesson. In the end, it’s we parents’ job to prepare our kids for flight, not to clip their wings.

Same as it’s also our job not to let them clip our wings—perhaps there’s even room for a couple more rose blooms in our trellis this season.

As we prepare to say goodbye to our best beloveds, as Shocked sings, we also say hello to being able to fly a little more ourselves.

Blooming, flying—they’re both great metaphors for where we are now—just as long as we all remember to fly home from time to time—and smell the roses together!

(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert

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Blogging AtoZ Challenge 2012