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August 2, 2007
You guys are out of here, I say to the two tall lilies who tower over everybody else in the front border. Today. I don't know what made them get so tall this year, but they're taller than I am and they're right in front, making the whole border look like Mrs. Smith's 8th grade class worked very hard designing it. I've been waiting for them to stop blooming before moving them, but I can't take another day. Flowers and all, they're going out back.

Other things have flourished this year, too -- last year's wilt-ridden Black-Eyed Susans are in superb shape, burgeoning with blooms, with not so much as a shadow on a leaf anywhere. The peonies' leaves, covered with powdery mildew last year, are clean as a whistle now. The echinacea, which was skimpy last year, is everywhere. The butterfly bushes are covered with visitors: four Yellow Swallowtails all came for brunch at the same time yesterday. And the roses have been glorious.

I, on the other hand, have been lazy: little planting, little baking, not even much writing. Moving the lilies will be just about my only intervention this summer. I've weeded just enough to make my back hurt, but I've had to harangue myself into doing even that each time. I've gotten away with this only because the great gift of a mature perennial garden is that it more or less runs itself.

But of course, the whole point of a garden is to enjoy it. I have been happy every time I have looked at it, even if I do have a pair of six-foot lilies threatening passersby out front. I have stood on the front porch as it rained, gazing at the thirsty plants drinking their fill, have been unable to tear myself away from all the butterflies and bumblebees, have sat at the breakfast table with a second cup of tea to watch a feeder full of birds, lingered at the picnic table with Q until the last firefly has found a mate and even Kitten has worn himself out climbing the dogwood.

My travel schedule is much less onerous in the summer. I am blessedly at home, most days. It starts up again soon enough, and I will be busy enough then. I reckon it's all right to remain right here, slow and lazy, until it does.

Do you wonder about the economic news you hear? The market and sub prime mortgages not crystal clear to you? I'm slow to understand it all myself -- it's not a simple good guys/ bad guys story. Read about it from faith perspective of faith in Ways of the World on Economist Carol Stone is happy to help us think about the way money and resources work -- something Jesus talked a lot about. So if there's something that has puzzled or disturbed you in the news of the economy or of your own pocketbook that you think might puzzle others, too, write her at

And coming soon: a special men's spirituality page on the Farm, with New York writer James Reho. Have we been too girly here? Beats me, but just in case, stay tuned....
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