The Perfect Day

We have experienced an odd summer. The temperature turned torrid too early and stayed August hot for weeks. Gardens balked at the idea of growing and producing tasty veggies. As I write this, I have had five tomatoes that ripened so we could enjoy them. The plants grew like weeds, but the fruit hung green on the vine for weeks, refusing to turn red and luscious. Other garden plants took the hint from the tomatoes and bolted in the heat, grew slowly or not at all, and in general produced one of the poorest garden harvests in years.

Smoke from the burning west hung in the air all summer, and people suffered eye, nose, and throat irritations due to the continual haze. I forgot that the nighttime sky used to gleam and shimmer with thousands of stars, I forgot the sky could be a marvelous shade of blue, as grayish haze, crimson suns, fiery sunsets and orange moons became the norm.

The drought left everyone grumpy, hot, parched, uneasy about the potential for devastating fires in the immediate region, and concerned about wells and springs drying up. The summer birds left the area a month early possibly because of the poor air quality, and green grass did not stay lush and verdant for very long this summer. At least I saved a lot of time, gas money, and effort on cutting grass this season.

The unwanted growth, such as knapweed and hounds tongue certainly enjoyed this year's weather conditions and thrived, but that's about it.

Then suddenly we experienced a breath of fresh air, literally, that reminded us why we appreciate Montana and what it has to offer. A few weeks ago, the area woke up to brilliant cerulean skies, huge pillowy clouds floating in that ocean of blue, and cool temperatures that revitalized us all. Everyone has his or her own idea of what constitutes a perfect day, but in this case, it seems everyone delighted in what that day had to offer.

For me personally, I had ideal gardening and brush clearing weather. The fabulous sky with its cumulus clouds eased some stress and relaxed me. Faultless temperatures made work around the cabin effortless. I could actually see the mountains standing tall and majestic in the distance instead of peering at a smoky gray haze that obscured the landscape. The invigorating air smelled sweet and inviting, encouraging me to frequently inhale as much as my lungs could hold.

When I stop several times an hour to breath in more clear air, look around and marvel at the world around, beneath, and above me, and think to myself 'what a fabulous day', then all is well in my little corner of the universe.

Everyone I talked to that day had huge smiles on their faces. To a person, the first words out of their mouths had something to do with the weather, the day, and how chipper and happy they felt. I heard the words 'unbelievable' 'fantastic' 'marvelous' and other synonyms to describe the perfection of a superior, unexpected day free from smoke, heat, and other stresses of life. It seems every one of us enjoyed our own special, perfect day.

It was the kind of day that people delighted in working on chores, spending as much time as possible outdoors, and appreciating life and what it had to offer.

The perfect day lasted all day and into the night. I enjoyed a drink in my lawn chair that evening, and then twilight fell and the first sprinkling of stars made their appearance. I actually saw and marveled in the vastness of the Milky Way. I don't think I had seen the Milky Way nor the twinkling of stars all summer long, so this extra gift of looking up and seeing the stars and constellations wheeling across the night sky put the finishing touch to a stupendously outstanding day.

Days like that make me realize how much I take for granted, and that I forget to stop and appreciate all that exists around me every single day. I am too busy holding my nose to the grindstone and neglecting to appreciate what I have, and what lives right next to me in the yard, forest, and sky. Perfect days at least remind us every so often to stop and enjoy our surroundings. They remind us what we have, what we love, and to delight in the day and what it has to offer.


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