On this quiet and beautiful summer morning, my flowers are shimmering in the dew, the tomato plants, all 18 of them, are lush and laden with fruit as is our apple tree. This is its year to bear fruit after taking the year off in 2014. In the midst of all that are weeds that seem to thrive anywhere. I wonder why those tender leaves don’t excite the rabbits the way the rosebushes do.

At the end of May I retired from a job I loved after 17 years of feeling useful and productive. Those years came immediately after my retirement from 30 years of teaching Language Arts, formerly called English. That was another career I loved. Every year was new and fulfilling. On these first days of the rest of my life, I find myself with no direction in mind. My hobbies are few. Reading, writing, and swimming continue to interest me. I like our vegetable garden, but it delights me mainly during the harvesting of the produce. We will can tomatoes, make pickles, and freeze apples to add to those we froze in 2013 as some remain from that big harvest.

As I search for a direction, I see people with much larger challenges than mine. Our climate changes have had far-reaching effects on wild life and habitats, on the dwindling water supplies, and on increasing severe weather events. Parts of our population are gun-crazy, some of our leaders are war-crazy, and people are hungry. I see bigotry spilling out of dissatisfied people who need somewhere to focus their frustrations and hatred. This is not a country in which I can feel pride.

I will continue to enjoy the family and friends that have provided stability, support, and love. I must think less about myself and more about others for whom I can be a resource or a friend. I have always seen the glass half full. I need to find my way back to that. It’s time to get back to life.