Today was the final day of the Middle Earth Summer Camp! What a fun experience. This was Art Day, which is very fitting for summer camp. However, rather than glue, glitter and paper, today’s activity was to create art outdoors, using plants, flowers, leaves, sticks or stones.
I carefully considered what to do, and had several ideas. With my backyard garden I knew I had ample resources available. I love being outside, creating, even in this heat and humidity.
I made my decision, and again, two ideas converged. Yesterday I completed preparation of the side flower borders, with help from Greg, and mulched the first section. This evening, the rest of my flowering plants went into the ground, creating a flower garden any Elf, or Hobbit, would approve of!
For me, this was the perfect art project, making use of natural materials outdoors. Into the ground went 20 plants, grouped by plant type and height: white cone flowers, Shasta daisies, meadow sage, Russian sage, purple salvia, pink fountain gauras, yarrow, a lespedeza and finally, a dwarf butterfly bush, tucked into a corner bed.
Tomorrow I’ll mulch the newly planted sections and around the now tamed rose bushes. I am so pleased to complete this project, and what a great day to create outdoor art. Thank you to Middle Earth News for a fun summer experience. I am always thrilled to accept an invitation to return to Middle Earth.
Today brings to a close Tolkien Week. What fun I have had with this week. It is amazing that it has been observed since 1978 and I only became aware of it this year, during my year of firsts. To finish the week on a strong Tolkien/Lord of the Rings note, I wrote a limerick and entered it into the Middle Earth News Limerick Contest.
I check in often on this informative and fun page on Facebook. Being Tolkien Week, I’ve been especially mindful of the news and fun trivia contests Middle Earth News has posted. When I saw the Limerick Contest, I knew I wanted to finish the week by entering the contest, which is over at midnight tonight.
It’s been years since I wrote a limerick, which is a fun poem with five lines. The first, second and fifth lines rhyme and consist of eight or nine syllables. And the third and fourth lines rhyme and have five or six syllables each. They often begin, “There once was a….” but don’t have to include that opening phrase, which is good, because those words use up four of the nine syllables available! It honestly took me just a few minutes to write a limerick, featuring Aragorn, known early in the Lord of the Rings story and movie as Strider. He came immediately to mind, and so I went with that impression. My first limerick had too many syllables. I mistook syllables for words and then looked up the correct structure again on the contest site. That was an easy fix. I simply removed some of the words.
Here is my entry into the Middle Earth News Limerick Contest:
Strider was reluctant to be king.
His sword guarded bearer of the ring.
He came into his own
On the way to the throne.
At the coronation he did sing.
Today was also Greg’s birthday! The kids were all working or out of town, so I joined him for a birthday dinner at one of his favorite restaurants, El Vaquero on Main Street in Joplin. We enjoyed Mexican food and a drink. Afterwards, we stopped by Baskin Robbins for a birthday ice cream cone.
Greg and I have journeyed together for many years….since we were young uns. Our families had been connected for two generations before we met. His grandmother hosted a baby shower for my grandmother, when she was expecting my mother. So interesting the way life’s flow brings people together. We have had an interesting journey, to say the least! The last few years, we have come to understand more and more about the bigness, the expansiveness, of life and the richness of relationships. We also have come to appreciate that we are each a teacher in the life of the other.
Greg has been and continues to be a vital part of my life. He is a wonderful dad to our three kids and a fun papa to the grandkids. He is resourceful, able to “MacGyverize” his way through busted gadgets and challenging projects. I am so grateful for all the work he has done to bring about the backyard renovation. The fence, the brick patio, the Peace Gate, which so ingeniously transformed a door from a tornado damaged house into a beautiful sliding gate, were all his contributions. He has furthered my dreams, of seeing Rivendell brought to life in the backyard, and of traveling to Scotland, knowing that the trip was more than a vacation for me.
I’ve watched Greg’s personal journey the past few years and have seen him go inward to discover, at a deep level, who he is. He has introduced me to some amazing authors that inspired and encouraged him, including Byron Katie, Michael A Singer and Thich Nhat Hanh. We enjoy lively conversations around what we are reading and about life itself. And his current journey with his aging father has been very precious. Greg’s dad gave much of himself to his son, when Greg was a youth and young man, in particular. Greg is now giving back to his dad, caring for him with dignity, tender concern and a good sense of humor. How honoring it is to his dad, to be so present with him.
I appreciate having Greg as a traveling companion. May he have many more years to continue exploring life, the world and his place in it! Happy, happy birthday, Greg!
It’s not too late to enter the Middle Earth News Limerick Contest, if you enjoy this fun form of poetry and all things Tolkien! Contest closes at midnight tonight.