It's been a warm winter, even by Florida standards, and I haven't felt much like decorating for Christmas. Fortunately my garden now boasts a "bead tree," thanks to my darling husband and daughter and my 60th birthday, which I am now trying to disremember (the "60th" part, at least.) The bead tree adds a festive holiday touch to an otherwise empty patch where the wild orange used to be. (Its thorny branches were a favorite hangout for local wildlife, but a worry and a menace when children were playing in the garden. After 20 years and the few pitchers of juice it managed to give us, it finally gave up the ghost and was suitably dispatched.)
And thus the bead tree became a part of the landscape. It's lovely and whimsical and shimmers at even the barest touch of light that filters through the canopy of oak and magnolia and slash pine. Today is breezy and the garden is alive with light and movement and sound. The chimes sing while blue jays argue over who will have the last black sunflower seed and the chickens next door chuckle amongst themselves over a bit of juicy gossip. The old slash pines sway gently, joints creaking, as they whisper, "shush, shush," to all the young things who dare to disturb their afternoon nap. I am sipping peppermint tea and vaguely wondering if this nagging sore throat will turn into a full-fledged cold (the nasty one that seems to be going around everywhere you turn) and whether enough good thoughts and prayers and hot tea and vitamins will stem the tide.
So that's the update from this part of the world, on this 14th day of December, in my tiny garden on the gulf coast of Florida. Not much to report, unless you count those gossiping chickens, and they never let me in on their secrets.
Wishing you all, as always, in season and out—light and laughter and love abounding.