Small victories

It was a tough news day today. I won’t get into it, but it seemed like bad news was closing in from every side every time I got a news update.

We are focusing on small victories.

The shade garden, a surprisingly beautiful spot created by cast-off hostas, is in bloom. Some of the hosta flowers, instead of the usual pale purple trumpets, are lovely, waxy white stars. I’ve never seen anything like them.

The vegetable garden, after a slow start, is trying to bury us under zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes. The cauliflowers and beets are coming along nicely, the peas and peppers are making a comeback after looking pretty bedraggled. And not only do we have potatoes, but we have three ears of corn. Laugh if you like. That’s three more than we got last year.

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Our after-dark sojourns in the hammock have been relaxing. But a couple of nights ago, it was spectacular. Just as I was preparing to give up and go inside, a bright-white meteor streaked all the way across the sky over our heads in total silence. It was, in the proper use of the word for once, awesome.

Today, a chipmunk sat on my bare foot. We have two very curious chipmunks who live under the roses near the covered porch. KB started feeding them peanuts. In precisely one day, they moved from eyeing us warily from a distance while stuffing their cheeks to bursting, to sitting right next to us. So I put a peanut on my foot. And one of them clambered up, grabbed the peanut, stuffed it into its cheek, and ran off.

The feel of those tiny paws on my foot isn’t something I’ll soon forget. The next time, it grabbed another peanut from my foot, then ran onto my hand, stretched out palm-up on the ground beside my foot. It got that peanut, too.

They’re all small victories, simple, feel-good moments that feel much more important these days.


Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.