Traditions. We love them as much as we love ladybugs. It’s one of the reasons we bake Christmas cookies. At any other time of year, they seem out of place — but in December, they fit (and taste) just right.
Right now, traditions are everywhere in my day job, where I am not the Nitty Gritty Dirt Man. I’m a social worker in a suburban high school, and as the school year comes to a close, the traditions are all lined up. Junior Prom. Senior Picnic. Senior Cut Day. Graduation Count Down. Senior Banquet. Senior Prank.
It’s Labor Day weekend – a time tailor-made for beaches, barbecues, parades, and speeches. But on this particular holiday, I’m staring at the remains of a small, neighborhood garden center on Long Island.
I’m not sure exactly what happened here. Did the owner retire, unable to sell the business? Did some sort of illness interfere? Was the small nursery unable to compete against the box stores that sprout like weeds? Or perhaps, this nursery is just another victim of an economy that has failed to thrive?
It’s amazing how quickly the weeds and wildflowers have turned this once manicured plot into an overgrown prairie. Slowly, however, it gives up its secrets.
It seems that quite suddenly, summer has brought the entire world into bloom — and that means hosting a whole bunch of guests to a bloomin’ banquet. There’s plenty to eat and drink — so, bring a chair, sit back, and relax.
First up: butterflies. I’m not sure what type of butterfly this is, but the garden is full of them. They really don’t socialize with the other guests, and can often be found in pairs, fluttering about in mid-air and playing among the lavender.
I’m good when it comes to bugs. For the most part.
I mean, I generally do not become hysterical when I cross paths with a 6- or 8-legged creature. In fact, there are some bugs I actually enjoy. I’m captivated by a trail of ants going about its journey; I love the sultry summer chirp of cicadas; I’m totally in love with praying mantis; I’m mesmerized by the flicker of lightning bugs; I’m completely overjoyed by the arrival of a butterfly (which is why it received top billing); and when it comes to bees, we have a firm understanding. I’ll let them do their work, if they let me do mine.