The lavender I planted when I first moved into this little white fairytale house four summers ago has not grown quickly. I envisioned each plant reaching its full potential by the following summer, but the ground here is hard and full of tree roots. The cedar I love so dearly drops soft needles that affect the soil Ph. Last year, I barely had any lavender blooms but this morning I noticed my plants are a bit bigger. Things take longer than we think.
My father is 83 and of Cherokee stock. I've always known he will live to be at least 100. Ten years ago, his kidneys were damaged by an adverse reaction to a combination of prescription drugs that two doctors didn't catch until it was almost too late. Somehow, though, he has managed to stay off of dialysis for a decade. The simple surgery last month to place a port in his abdomen in order to begin dialysis was nearly impossible for him to recover from. His body simply could not eliminate the anesthesia and pain-killers like the rest of us would.
We all thought, "Oh, once he starts the dialysis, he'll feel so much better right away." But he did not. The Fourth of July weekend was spent sleepless. I went home on Saturday to help my mother and my siblings came too. We are all taking turns going about this slow work of nursing and loving and cheering and praying. He is getting better. Things take longer than we think.
I am tender this week. Quiet, observing, processing. My job is to bring healthy food and cheer. I am going back today with heaps of both.
I want, so badly, for the lavender to be huge and abundant this year, like the massive purple mounds that grow in giant fields in Sequim. I want, so badly, for my dad to be well tomorrow and go back to watering his plants, tending his garden, and going out to lunch with his next-door neighbor on Tuesdays.
July reminds me these things take time, lots and lots of time. Growing, healing, recovering, changing...takes longer than we think.
This morning I am wearing a hot pink sequined heart tee-shirt because it might make him smile when I arrive later this afternoon. And if it does not, hopefully the steak and mashed potatoes and vegetables will.
May your July be slow, restful, healing, and touched with the magic of lowered expectations. Embrace the new normal, and find beauty in the small tufts of lavender that are tough enough, brave enough, to grow each year there under the cedar trees.