Last night, I stayed up until two a.m., reading. I had the remnants of a migraine, and though I know that seems counter-intuitive, one of the few things I can do when I have a migraine is read.

I went to buy groceries in the early evening, which was a bit of a struggle, but while I was there, I suddenly knew that I needed a book. One that I could read all in one night, one that would transport me.

And so, The Language of Flowers jumped right off the shelf in my direction, sounding right up my alley with its main theme of flowers and their Victorian-era meanings. And love.

And in the end, forgiveness.

I came home and arranged myself on the couch with a plate of fruit and cheese for dinner, and let myself be drawn into the story. My husband came home from golf and I said hello, but not much else.

I had, as my mom always used to say, my “nose in a book.” Really, it was usually more like, “Get your nose out of that book and set the table.” Sigh. Just one more page…

My husband turned a baseball game on, I never even looked up to see who was playing or ask who was winning, and a few minutes later, he was asleep in his chair. This is the way of things in our house, he gets up everyday at 2:30 a.m., so by 8:30, he is usually snoring.

I only moved to lower the volume on the game, choosing not to turn it off, it seemed just right as background music. And then a bit later, I stopped reading to let the dog out and smile at the fireflies dancing in the yard.

At midnight, I got myself ready for bed, with 100 pages left to go. And then it was time to decide if I would keep reading. I knew that if I continued on, I would read through to the end. I knew that I probably shouldn’t, that I had to get up early and get work done, that I’m not a teenager anymore, that summers can’t be spent as if I have nothing to do.


At around 2:00 a.m., I finished the book. It made me cry.

I turned out the light and watched fireflies out the window for a bit.

And now this morning, of course, I am exhausted. But it was worth it. A good book is always worth it, and feeling, just for a night, that it is summer and I can stay up late and do whatever I want, even if that includes dancing with fireflies in my dreams…. that was just what I needed.

My life is changing this summer, as it does every season, but this year, it is different. I gave myself the gift of time, giving up our summer jewelry shows because I missed my garden, missed my reading, missed having time to notice the fireflies.

It was a hard decision, a risky decision, an “I’m not at all sure this is the right thing to do” decision. But last night, I was very, very sure.

Sometimes you have to give up the things that aren’t working.

Sometimes you have to pull the weeds that have crept into your life to make room for the flowers.

And sometimes, you have to stop everything and just sit for a moment, enjoying the view.



12 Responses to “weeding”

  • Anna Montgomery Says:

    You infuse so much life and emotion into your work with immense skill. I empathize on so many levels with this piece.

  • beth Says:

    “a good book is always worth it”……sigh.

    and summer, i truly believe, makes us feel powerful. we have the power to stay up late, the power to dance with the fireflies and the power to ignore all that is going on around us when our noses get stuck in those books that often have more of a draw/pull to them when the temperature rises….xo

  • Tina Tierson Says:

    I’ve told you often how beautiful your writing is, but I guess I just have to keep on saying it! This post reminds me of the weeding I need to do in my own life, but sometimes just don’t know where to start. However, I do know what my next book will be! I love it here in the Pacific Northwest, but so do wish there were fireflies here. Sigh.

  • Jennifer Says:

    I’m glad you made that decision.

    A lovely post.

  • Debi Says:

    i cannot tell you how much i love this, though, of course, these words are me trying to do just that. i love all of it. all. knowing how you spent your evening, the fact that you stayed up late & that felt like summer. baseball in the background. all of it.

    and your grocery store has better books than mine.

  • Stereo Says:

    I have noted down the name of this book that drew you in so completely (given that we have something of a mini twitter bookclub, I am intrigued by your choice). I think I love these posts of yours best; the ones when we are allowed to tip toe into your house and witness some of your quiet moments.

  • missing moments Says:

    That is what makes life so embracing at this stage! Lovely post today!

  • brian miller Says:

    smiles…i love it when a book captures me like that….and i def have met 2 am reading sometimes ….this has a nice rhythm to the day in it..and you know sometimes you do just have to do that…smiles…

  • Pat Byers (Tilda) Says:

    i read like you do. entirely. not a few pages, not ending on one chapter or another. i get nothing done when i read. but often my books are 3 days long. glasses over contacts in weary eyes.
    but if a book is that good, you cannot put it down.
    changes? each season it seems, there are changes. not just the seasonal changes of Michigan. often hard to embrace. but still they come, whether we are dragging our toes, or not.
    that change of….forgiveness? a tricky, difficult one. i have never totally mastered change.
    or forgiveness.
    in fondest. Tilda

  • Barbara Says:

    I used to spend hours and hours just like that, with my nose in a book. And I’m still that way once I get to the halfway point of a good one. These days, if it hasn’t hooked me by the third chapter, it gets set aside for another one. Loved this post and the reference to weeding. I’m going to find that book and quote you (with a link) on Facebook!

  • Kate Says:

    I loved this post. And I adored that book. I even copied the pages where it listed the flowers and their meanings. * sigh *

  • Maery Rose Says:

    Weeding… that reminds me of my Dad. I would tease him about his incessant weeding in the Arizona desert. “Don’t you want to leave something green?” But when he was gone and I saw his place, I saw what a difference it made him not being there pulling weeds. He said it was one of the few things you could do that you could see your progress right away and feel satisfied when you were done.

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