June Peonies

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June in the Midwest means white and pink ruffled flowers everywhere. We were blessed to inherit 10 or so pretty peonies that border our backyard vegetable garden. Hot pink, white, and these delicate in between shades. Captured these photos during the golden hour before the rain weighed them down.

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summer harvest

veggie bounty, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Oh, some more delicious snapshots of our daily treats. My first time growing carrots, and how satisfying it is to pull them from the dirt almost ready to eat! Growing your own food is such a wonderful blessing. Walking through, searching for the perfect ripe veggie and picking your dinner is beyond amazing. We’ve been having so much fun cooking and eating all this yumminess. From tiny seeds and plants comes all this, to nourish and keep us healthy. Sun, dirt, water, and faith. All you need to make your garden grow. An everyday miracle, I’d say…

so much growth

veggie garden, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Much of my summer has been spent tending to this bountiful vegetable garden. After a rough start with hot hot sun and so much dry, it’s bounced back and has taken off like crazy. We have three 4 x 12 raised beds and they are all overflowing with veggies everywhere. Fresh green beans, cucumbers, peppers, so many tomatoes. Our best garden yet…

growing gardens out of my wounds

new growth, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.
Our garden is simple yet teaches so much by just being, growing. Purple + yellow coneflowers, black eyed susans, and hostas in abundance. There is always unexpected joy from perennials, how they change through the years + seasons. Last summer I carefully divided + transplanted these flowers + greenery from my parents’ garden, which came from my mom in-law’s garden before. Knowing that this sharing of beauty would take time to root itself into the earth before blooming again. How easy it is to have patience + faith your garden will grow each year, welcoming those first green shoots in spring, waiting to see the change a new summer brings. And oh, how it’s grown, my poor little withered plants of last summer now thriving + blooming everywhere. You place a bit of yourself into every plant you pat down into the earth, never really knowing what will come of it until it’s gone through the heat of a summer, into the often cold + harsh winter. You have faith that what you’ve done, the messy work of planting, the care + tending, is enough to bring new life + joy in all the years that follow. Accepting that things may not turn out as you expected, trying to understand that change + loss are unavoidable in life.
So I carry this hope with me in all things. I have to find the good in everything, otherwise I don’t know how to fully live. As someone who is prone to worry, to think the worst, to let fear of so many things get the best of me, I just have to have faith that even in the most trying of circumstances, something of value will come out of it. This past school year I faced challenges + disappointments I never could have imagined. I had a hard time writing, weary from just making it through the day. I did my best each day with what I had, even though many days it didn’t seem like enough. So, I said a prayer (and another, and another…), took a breath, and got up and tried another day. I survived, and have been loving these quieter, relaxing days of summer to refresh.
I will savor these last few weeks of summer, knowing another likely difficult season is beginning. But I will go forth certain that all the challenges that are ahead will serve a purpose in my life, helping me grow into a stronger person, teaching me lessons I couldn’t learn any other way. And I will keep dreaming, keep hoping for our journey to take a new turn, trying my very best to do all that I can to make that happen. In the meantime, I have an amazing husband, adorable puppy, cozy house, and bountiful garden to come home to at the end of each day.
The song that has inspired this post and helped remind me how much good can come from our hurt, our sorrow, our bumpy roads:
I know I’m alive
raised from the dead inside
breaking out of honeycomb tombs
growing gardens out of my wounds

I know I’m alive…

rainy days

flower droplets, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Oh, those rainy, chilly days of early fall. How they help us slow down, cozy up, grasp for the last moments of warmth. Flowers still in bloom, holding on as long as they may. The wonder of tiny droplets in a perfect glassy bead, vibrant colors popping against the grey, misty sky. The air is crisp. Geese soar above, readying themselves for the long journey. Yet we are here, in the midst, the transition. It is just beginning, the leaves are getting ready, most still green. The seasons, the rhythm of life always here. And how we must live right now, enjoy the cool breeze, the layers, the still warm sunshine. Golden yellows, deep reds, rich oranges await us.

discovered wonders

caterpillar, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Always happy to share my garden with friendly, helpful creatures. Wispy strands of dill, food for the Black Swallowtail caterpillar. Lime green, striking pattern. Overwhelmed with the gorgeous variations of great and small living things. Creativity at its finest, colors + patterns…too many to begin imagining. And I think…I never want to lose this sense of wonder. This appreciation for creation, the sacred beauty so generously made for us. To stop, to look, to notice. How can we not? It is all around us, waiting for us to see.

Open your eyes, your heart…what will you discover?

to nourish

more + more, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.
nour·ish
:: To provide with food or other substances necessary for life and growth; feed.
Our biggest harvest yet, though it may not seem that huge. Wishing my many green tomatoes red, discovering a softball size crimson beauty hiding in the middle. An orange + red striped heirloom, perhaps grown in the gardens of mamas + grandmas before mine were even born. Crisp peppers of every color, long shiny eggplants, food for our soul. A vintage enamelware bowl, maybe even carried to another’s garden so long ago, for the fresh harvest. Hands into dirt, like those before us. Patient waiting, checking…finally picking.
A labor of love becomes our dinner, to nourish and sustain, for whatever joys + challenges may lie ahead.

found colors

purple everywhere, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.
Everyday colors found in nature are so beautiful. Everywhere you go bursts of red, yellow, green. Orange, blue, purple. All comes to life these few enchanting months. Summertime makes me feel so full–so many chances to enjoy the earth brimming with gifts just for us. Fresh onions bought at a roadside farmer’s cart, the purplest eggplants picked just a short walk outside our back door, delicious blueberry desserts made of berries from the state next door. The kitchen has been a busy place, but I love how this time of year it’s so much easier to be nourished by food that is close to your heart. My favorite time of year to cook!