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"Our deck garden refuge serves as the center of this home from June into early October"

A Spring Morning shows up swollen with possibility, aching to be seized. Anything could happen. The eastern horizon starts glowing long before the sun's scheduled arrival. I check the clock, thinking I must have overslept, but I have not. The day leans ahead of herself, craning her neck across the starting gate, seemingly anxious to just get going. I can barely sit still. This will not be a day for reflection.

The Muse mentions that she misses her yard as we wander around the plant nursery.
Neither of us remember the name of the place, but its everything we'd ever want in a nursery. We restrain ourselves, having learned that the deer will eat almost anything and almost everything on offer there will just seem like an appetizer course for the herd. Petunias for the deck, bought in excess as if we were replanting the yard we left behind back at our old home place rather than the few railing-mounted planters and surrounding pots. I miss my yard, too.

Thunder and lightening chase us home, dropping huge raindrops as if to declare that Spring is finally and truly here. A broad rainbow rises along the Hogback as we climb the foothills. Ravenous, The Muse simmers leftover lentil soup while I slice Emmer bread and grate Pecorino for a lunch too-long delayed. I'd earlier mowed lawn, combing the uneven ground with my more than a century-old push mower, doubling back each row to affect a somewhat even cut. The blades need sharpening and realigning, though I haven't yet found who's left around here that still understands how to service such an ancient machine.

Neither of us rush into the spring afternoon. We doze for a spell before heading back outside to perfect our morning's intentions. The Muse plants while I putter, carrying planter boxes up to the deck rails and plumbing the deck for water, hauling hoses and tightening connections with a slip-jaw wrench that weighs down one of my yard pant's back pockets. I wash pots accumulated since we put last year's deck garden away, scraping mineral deposits from their clay lips. I paint with waterproof undercarriage paint the bottom of the water fountain bowl, it being cracked and crazed from more than a decade of use. It will leak otherwise and neither of us can bear replacing it, for it burbles a melody carried from that garden in that home so far away. The paint dries excruciatingly slowly so I shift to planting the red yarrow I bought to fill in where the winter killed one stood.

I haul my accumulated scrap wood down to the fire pit and start a smoky pine needle fire which I tend like an old man while crouching forward on the ancient metal lawn chair I repainted last year. The smoke, following beauty, chases me around the backyard and The Muse back into the house as the fire settles into a simmering coal bed, perfect for grilling that filet of sockeye we'd found on our earlier foray. The day seems almost spent by then. I sit to find myself again, satisfied with the long day's activity and aching to be back in our real yard again.

I can barely pretend to eat my supper. I pantomime chewing and swallowing, hardly hungry after the long day out in the open air. I'm much more accustomed to cowering through a day and my shoulders ache with more satisfaction than any supper could induce. I'm disconsolate as I slip off to sleep. The deck garden's hardly halfway planted and tomorrow will likely arrive aching with fresh possibilities. We'll invest in two more planters and finish up the first stage of repopulating the place. Our deck garden refuge serves as the center of this home from June into early October, a parapet from which we survey the Front Range clear to the Flatirons and up to which longing-eyed deer wistfully lust after our airborne petunia patch. We hide out there, refugees in our refuge from which we cannot quite see home.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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