It’s been peak bloom for peonies this past week. With our hot temperatures and gusty winds I can walk outside and immediately smell the scent of peonies in the air. It’s a short-lived bloom season, and perhaps that’s one of the reasons I savor every day. We’ve added additional peony bushes over the years, but I continue to favor the ones that I transplanted from my mother and father’s house in Kansas. These are the ones that were on the side of their house, sometimes neglected, but they continued to blossom. Each year my parents would gather and cut the blooms to take to the cemeteries on Memorial Day and lay on the graves of relatives. Fast forward to now, with both my parents having passed on, I’m filled with wonderful memories and see these Kansas peonies blooming in honor of my mom and dad.
We’d met up with friends and family in the early evening and headed out for some fishing. As my line and lure were not garnering any attention, I started watching the evening light. The sun moved lower on the horizon, the bright blue of the sky toned down, and the white clouds soaked up the lovely pink of twilight. Even the wind that had been blowing eventually stopped and the lake became like glass. The island ahead of us was reflected in the lake, but the clouds seemed to surround us, above and below. The light was fleeting, the colors left the sky, and dark settled in quickly. (And yes, my line remained uninteresting to the fish, but I left the lake thankful for the twilight’s beauty and the company of family and good friends.)
I awoke this morning before the sunrise, grabbed my camera, and headed out the door. We were in Kansas for a family wedding. The weather had been as perfect as is possible for August in Kansas – low humidity, sunshine, and temps in the 80’s. But this morning the air was fresh and cooled, and the fog hung low in the valleys. As I drove down gravel roads, the dust hung in the golden air and the sunlight glistened off the telephone lines and the grasses. My nephew and his lovely bride were married in a garden setting yesterday, surrounded by family and friends. It was lovely and it was just as they had hoped – a true expression of who they are individually and who they are as a couple. As I was greeting the morning with an appreciation of the scenery and a new day, I was hoping that this first day of their life as husband and wife would be a beautiful omen of their future together. Congrats to them; and I’m so proud of their family that has showered them with love.
We’ve just returned from a full week of traveling, bookmarked on each end with a graduation; one nephew’s college graduation and another nephew’s high school graduation (congrats to them both – I couldn’t be more proud!). The first part of the week found us in southern Missouri, south of Branson. With all the rain that has fallen (including while we were there), everything is a beautiful and lush green. The Ozark mountains were in their prime, and waterfalls were running full and fast. In other areas, flowers were in full bloom – iris and peonies, foxglove and phlox. We truly couldn’t have picked a better time for our trip. It was a great time to explore the area with its natural beauty – a wonderful relaxing time.