With the low last night in the mid-sixties, this morning was just right for a bit of garden work in the early hours between dawn’s easy light and the cresting of the sun. And so, I trimmed roses, snipping off the spent blooms and talking to Randa as she sat on the porch. We discussed nothing of great importance: yesterday’s work, today’s plans, that it might be time to put more fertilizer on the roses.

I talked without looking at her, preferring to take note rather of where the fingers of my left hand gripped stems while my right hand squeezed the handles of the pruning shears. I don’t think she felt disrespected. After the roses were done, she asked me to snip off a few other drying blooms: the purple ones and the pink coral-bells. With that crossed off the impromptu to-do list, we then focused on the Rose of Sharon tree, cutting back the branches that hid the hummingbird feeder and crossed over the sidewalk and entryway. I laid the branches into the back of the truck and set the small trash can of rose trimmings in the garage, headed back into the house.

It is not often that I finish a few chores before breakfast; it’s more my custom to let those things wait until the end of the day. Rising a half-hour early creates some opportunities of things that can be done in the light, fresh air of dawning rather than the sultry end of a long day. And even if the conversation takes place through a screen, speaking and listening with someone you love while you go about some small task is a good part of managing something that you want to last.

Talking to God seems to fit right into that goal, too.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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