It’s late Spring in the rural, NW Ohio community of Ney.
The asparagus continues to grow, as does the rhubarb. Soon they will be done. I wonder will they again next year break through the early Spring ground to bless us with their fruit?
The apple trees blossomed and even survived a freeze. This year we added a cherry tree and peach tree. I can’t wait to put the first bite of cherry pie into my mouth a few years from now. I wonder, will I still be among the living?
The maple tree didn’t make it. For four years it fought, trying to stay alive, every Spring displaying fewer and few buds. This Spring, there were no new buds. I wonder what killed our friend?
In its place we planted a river birch. Actually, we planted two river birch trees and two azalea bushes and two lilac bushes. I wonder, will we run out of yard someday?
The garden is planted. Peas, beans, onions, lettuce, beets, and spinach. And then there’s the nursery plants…tomatoes and peppers. I wonder, will they all produce this year?
We planted more wildflowers. The birds, spiders, and butterflies thank us. We planted marigolds sweet peas, and best of all, we planted four different varieties of sunflowers. I wonder if the birds know that we plant the sunflowers for them?
The honeysuckle we planted a few years ago is now taking over the trellis and the ivy is now making its way up the fence. Everywhere we look we see beauty. Yes, we see the fruit of our labor but it is more than that. The sun shines, the rain comes, the earth gives up its nutrients. All so we can revel in the colors of life and have food to eat. I wonder, will climate change ruin all of this?
It is dusk now and the sun is setting in the west just like it has for the 20,378 days I have spent on this earth. I wonder if my neighbors understand our star is dying?
As the sun sets, Ney becomes quieter. It is one of those nights where every sound can be heard. I wonder, will my neighbors turn off their TV long enough to listen?
And then it starts. A croak. silence. The same croak again. The croaker is in our back yard. He is close and his froggy voice booms into the night. And then, just like a choir singing its parts, another frog responds. And the croaking choir sings out its song. It is such a beautiful sound. The air is still and I can tell that some of the frogs are way off in the distance. Back and forth they croak, each trying to woo to a female frog. It is their love song that I am hearing. I wonder, are we capable of stopping the spinning wheel of the rat race long enough to hear and see what a wonderful world we live in?