Contentment is wealth. That’s the title of a traditional Irish tune. And that’s what comes to mind when I sit outside in front of my cottage in late May and early June.
You see, my yard is filled with fragrant wildflowers, notable among them, dame’s rocket, a plant that releases its sweet scent in late afternoon and early evening. I’ve written much about this plant, but now I mention it because it has come to its peak, lending both color and heady aroma to my yard and home.
The chair you see me sitting on in the accompanying photo is placed among blooming dame’s rocket. Sitting here on a humid, still May afternoon, I feel the soporific effect of the setting; still, sweetly-scented and peaceful.
This, to me, represents the height of contentment and for me, contentment truly is wealth.
Looking across my lawn, I see vegetables in my raised bed gardens just popping out of the soil, a sign of plenty to come. Further on, I see the treeline. Several of the larger trees, bigtooth aspen, a form of poplar, reaching up above the treeline. These partially block my view of the ecliptic, the path that the sun, moon and planets take, and where I like to aim my telescope on a summer’s night.
But though the poplars impede my view, I’m reluctant to cut them. In fact, I’m reluctant to do almost anything that takes effort, at least while I sit in my chair, surrounded by sweet-smelling flowers.
In my reverie, I wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t get back to work, writing. Then I ask myself if the salmon or togue might bite tonight at a nearby lake. It would only take a few minutes to hook up the boat and take off. But in the end, just sitting in my chair and enjoying the scent, sounds and sensations here in my own front yard trumps all.
And that, my friends, is true contentment. I don’t know if everyone has access to such as this. I do, but only when conditions permit. Such days as today come far and few between, fleeting and because of that, very dear.
I remember such times as this, sitting in my chair among the flowers, happy, content and serene, watching and listening to hummingbirds as the males perform their seesaw flight only inches from my face. Flickers, or as my grandpa called them, “high-holes,” after their habit of nesting in holes high in dead trees, capture my attention, as do a few perfunctory blackflies. I don’t even mind them; they are so few as to be innocuous at this time.
Once, in fall, I experienced a similarly relaxed and contended time. I wrote about it in my book, Hidden World Revealed. It was a fleeting moment, never to come again. But this late spring, early summer time among the flowers, birds and yes, a few bumblebees and honeybees, comes around every year.
I wish that all my readers can and will experience such wonderful times of peace and contentment. After all, as the Irish say, “contentment is wealth.”