Dear Sunday Letter friends,
The week went by fast for me and other than attending two book clubs, I don’t have much to show for myself. Well, I cleaned a whole bunch of caterpillar frass from my butterfly hotels and fed my guests lots of milkweed. What else? I’m not sure.
Our son was here this weekend, and it’s always so wonderful to see him. But now he’s gone again and here we are. Ma and Pa home alone. Ha.
Honestly, I’ve been a bit unmotivated here in the dog days of summer. I’m ready for fall yet not ready for short days. In a word, I suppose I’m restless.
How about you?
I’ve never been one to decorate my garden with lots of cutesy stuff, but I’ve always wanted a garden gnome to watch over things when I can’t be outside. They are said to bring good luck to the garden and remind me of the dwarfs of Snow White fame.
Friday night at a book club I hosted, a friend gifted me my very own garden gnome. And he is the perfect garden gnome for me because he is reading a book!
Yesterday, I looked for the ideal garden spot for him and decided to tuck him beneath the milkweed in a bed of coreopsis and candytuft. He can read by the glow of a daisy in the breeze of rose-scented monarda.
The history of garden gnomes dates back to the second century A.D. when Roman Emperor Hadrian had hermits living throughout his garden villa estate. Later, wealthy landowners began hiring “ornamental hermits” to serve in their gardens. In 18th-century Georgian England, a quirky, disheveled hermit provided a certain garden ambiance that was considered fashionable. How crazy is that?
Today’s garden gnome is thought to have sprouted from these hermits.
Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing.
Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees,
flowers and birds,
badgers and foxes and squirrels and people.
So it must be all around us. In this garden—in all the places.
—Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Brand New Monarch
All I’ve been doing lately is tending to my monarch hotels. (I’m up to three habitats now.) Soon, the monarchs will migrate to Mexico, and I’ll have no more butterfly updates to include in my Sunday Letter. I bet some will be glad of that!
But for now, caterpillars are my obsession. And successfully raising them from egg to butterfly has provided a series of miracles throughout my summer.
John: I’m not sure what you did before you started raising butterflies.
Me: Well, I wrote a book.
This handsome fellow was only a few hours old when I took his picture. Releasing a butterfly and watching its first flight puts a lump in my throat every time.
The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.
When I was a kid, I wanted to believe in magic; I wanted to be either Jeannie or Samantha Stephens. Either lovely lady was fine by me, although the idea of Jeannie’s bottle inched her ahead a wee bit in my mind. Having such a groovy place all her own? That was my idea of heaven.
But Samantha didn’t have to wear that genie outfit, so being a witch had it’s perks too though.
I’m rambling, I know, but bottom line, I’m here to remind you, to remind myself, to continue looking for magic everyday. The older we get, the harder it is to see. And it may look a bit different from our original expectations.
Things Momma Says:
I’ve turned into a doctor in my old age.
Alrighty friends, this week’s Sunday Letter is super short. I suppose we could call it a Sunday Postcard. Who doesn’t love to get a postcard in the mail?
Play nice and stay healthy everyone!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.