There are the in-ground plantings and the small pots on the back porch and the few pots at the bottom of the back porch steps and the large pot on the front porch and the new one I added on Mother's Day between the porch and the garage and suddenly the weather is warm, hot even.
Every night we come home, all a tumble out of two cars almost at once, purse and laptop bag and backpack, backpack, backpack, papers and art projects, permission slips and precious ephemera, pinecones and stickers and wilted dandelions, bent paper clips.
We fall over each other into the house, shoes in the hall and someone needs the bathroom, someone needs a drink, bags drop, projects unfold at the kitchen table, energy expands, unpacking all the buttoned-up proper hours for barefoot evening, belly laughs and belly rubs, shenanigans and some kid runs pantsless into the backyard, we're entropy and cacophony and those snakes that pop out a can, a shaken two-liter of seltzer, a perpetual motion toy bouncing every way at once.
Slowly the pieces settle, float down to the floor, and the walls sigh in relief. Another reentry and no new cracks. There will be dinner and there may be homework and there might be baths and knotty hair and missing favorite books or pajamas. There will be the needs of night's routine. But first there is a space, cumulus, where everyone is anywhere and I can slip out.
The faucet sprays my toes. I fill the watering can and I circumnavigate the house: the container on the porch and the one by the garage and the new roses on the side; the herbs and the sunflowers, the containers on the back steps, and the tomatoes and their friends. It's five minutes, quiet and rhythmic, spreading water where it's needed, nurturing the thirsty plants, and then I walk back in and ask who's hungry.