• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Golden Privet Hedge

Mostly overcast today as wildfires in the American Northwest throw fine soot up into the high sky which tickles it into mist and showers here in the Midwest. I love being outside in the mist. Old Cat Margaret goes with me as far as the patio, and settles under the hostas. Last night her breath was so still I thought she had passed, it took a long time for me to wake her up. Her body temperature has been very low for a while now, and she sleeps curled onto my back, not the strong young cat she used to be, nor I the strong young woman.

I sit on my late mother’s bench beside the golden privet hedge in my backyard, under the fragrant boughs of my neighbor’s stately pine tree which towers up and overreaches my yard. When this old pine tree goes, my privet privacy hedge underneath it will fill in, it is a little scraggly now for want of sunlight. The columbine I planted under the privet hedge thrives because every day I place the ice cubes from my tea near it. I have red flowered columbine on one side of the bench and an unusual orange flowered columbine on the other.

I thought I would relax, maybe check the news on my Kindle, but within minutes the mist became raindrops that insisted I go inside. Cat Margaret mills at my feet, ears slightly back in annoyance, insisting on being wiped of the little bit of rain that chased us inside. So spoiled, so loved.

My yard smelled good in the rain with the scent of organic earth. Over the past ten years I have brought home several types of beneficial mushrooms, lichens, and mosses; and tucked them into my yard wherever I thought they would live best. When I explore my yard very closely I can see that they have formed a clean, healthy econiche with the trees and flowers that I planted in my yard. I am so lucky to have had this experience, I am grateful. This is Sunday and a most appropriate day for renewed gratitude.

My irises love the rain, when I started their sandy beds ten years ago I would water them several times a week. I wish I had the strength to move the few iris left in the back yard into the larger iris beds in the front yard, maybe I can do this in the coolness of the coming autumn.

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