Friends with Emily Dickinson

“Camper van season” flew by (aka Spring, when everyone brings them out to get ready for summer vacations) and now it is Summer. You can smell the heat today- it smells like baking and soil and moss. It feels like being wrapped in a blanket of sunshine. My favourite little weirdos are on summer vacation, the peas in my pod. Hunter is sick and has been isolated in his room since their road trip to BC with auntie and daddy, but Izzy is healthy, so the two of us have been going on little walks, digging in the dirt, watching summer shows. She’s a young lady now but every time I look at her, I see her baby face haunting her current image like a friendly ghost. Iz will always be my baby and my favourite female all at the same time. I thought I would feel old by the time she became a teen- old in the sense that daily life would be a familiar routine that didn’t need thought. I would be mature and have all my stuff together-be boring, in a good way. Yet, here are her teen years and I’m still sometimes surprised I’m a mom, as if I just woke up in this reality suddenly. (“Pinch-me feels”, a dreamlike state.) At the same time, the fact that I have a teen seems natural, too. The awkward questions aren’t as awkward as I expected. My kids are great: characters, big thinkers, always reaching forward to the future, philosophers. My kids are people I want to know and I’m proud I’ve been chosen to guide them. They are the most all-encompassing “job” I’ve ever taken on. When Hunter is feeling better, we’ll go on hikes and little city adventures. I can’t wait to explore with them and hear their random philosophical thought patterns (with no filter, as usual).

I’m redecorating and painting my entire kitchen. It’s going to be designed around my obsession with the  cottagecore aesthetic, apothecary store styles, vintage décor, and Victorian spaces. I’m an elderly Victorian cottage owner at heart, with my love of doilies and lace, tea in teacups, watercolours, and crochet. I’ll post kitchen pics later, when it’s finished. A lot of the painting is done but it’s still messy. I need to sand and sponge off messy corners, fix the ombre, decide on doorway colour, and put some stuff away. It’s 98% done but I see that 2% like a slap in the face.

Our townhouse is small. Over the dark winter and pandemic I filled it with nonsense that I don’t want and it’s crowded at the moment. I’ve been feeling more centered and slowly things are ending up in bags to go to thrift stores. I want every room to feel like a little jewel: precious and vintage and pretty. It will eventually give a homey cottage vibe, with an English cottage garden out back. Patience, I keep telling myself. Especially with the garden, which is full of perennials that will be big and gorgeous in a few years. In the meantime, I keep tinkering with the layout of plants and planting the annuals always gives me a thrill. A good garden is never done evolving (I think Monty Don also said something like that. Monty Don is one of my favourite famous people/ famous gardeners!).

Roses are becoming my favourite thing to grow. We always see chickadees and sparrows in the Spring but the finches always win the rights to the yard and fill it in thick flocks of chatter and arguing. Finches eat loud (& messy)… and speak loudly… and seem fearless…and, at the same time, I find them absolutely delightful and entertaining to watch.  

I’m becoming one of those old ladies standing at the window in her bathrobe, sipping tea and watching the birds interact. Kali-cat occasionally sits at my feet to send the birds little warning growls or tongue clicks for them to ignore. If I’m in a dreamy state that morning, I pet my cat and pretend I live next to Emily Dickinson, and we’re friends, so she’s on her way over to give gardening advice over tea and snacks.

In reality, I have a crush on new music by Kota the Friend and Florence and the Machine. My favourite annuals this year are pansies and morning glories. I managed to buy a couple of flats before they sold out and have them scattered around the yard. My favourite daily ritual is a cup of Japanese green tea, drunk over a book or in silence. What are your favourites this summer?   

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