Somewhere I came across Karla Kuskin’s brief poem,
A turtle walks across the lawn
and when he gets there
Isn’t that the most concise and endearing ode to the experience of summer? We move at a slow and steady pace, focused on sucking the marrow out of the warm days and then we look up and the leaves are shaking free from their branches. I have this poem jotted down a couple of different places to remind me about different lawns that I’m working on crossing, a way of remembering to make haste slowly.
This morning Summer’s turtle made her way into one of the garden beds outside. I was doing my morning commute around the yard with my coffee, obsessively checking to see if anything (particularly the clematis that’s supposed to be growing into a lush screen on our fence, but is…not. Yet.) had inched up any since the same lap that I took last night at dusk, and tucked in with some snapdragons was a box turtle stretching its neck up with its mouth open. By the time Asher came out, it had mostly retreated back to the safety of its shell, but we were all thrilled to see the passive visitor so close to home.
My mom surprised me with this bed this week. I had previously been ignoring it because we thought that we might build steps down from the deck this summer (ha! ha ha…ha) and it had become a weedy eyesore. My dear, wonderful, selfless, garden-loving mother spent her day cleaning out the bed and filling it with annuals (no pressure in case we do get around to those steps next year) so that I came home to a little spot soon to be brimming with color and already filled with her love. I love being a grown up with my mom–she knows that the best way to pamper me is not with a spa day, but with flowers. That is love, team. It’s fitting too that a turtle would show up in the first days of this bed’s makeover, as in some circles the turtle is the symbol of the earth, the life force that carries the weight of the world, and a well respected mother.
Which circles, you ask? Only the cool ones, obviously.
Thanks summer turtle. Safe crossing.