Monday, April 22, 2013

Landscaping: FT Scenery

ILRiverthruWindow-HawkinsHappy Earth Day!

I’m a huge nature lover, if you haven’t guessed yet from my posts and my books. Nature figures strongly in everything I write.  It also affects my mood. I need sun and warmth to be at my best, so spring truly feels like a complete rejuvenation every year.

I guess it’s appropriate that my first novel features a girl obsessed with trees and a landscape architect.

Stepping back into the sunlight, she squinted. The sun was directly above, spilling warmth through a light breeze. She wished she had worn a tank top so she could feel the direct heat on her shoulders. She didn’t want it on Aaron’s face, however, and pulled his receiving blanket into a curve around his head. Her son had Daniel’s paleness and would burn easily.

Finding her way to the back of the house, Jenna felt like she was sneaking around again. But that was crazy. There was nothing wrong with her being there with Alan. So, then, why did she feel guilty?

She stopped, coming into view of the landscapers moving small trees around the backyard. Alan watched them, checking the entire scene, then walked over to a leafy maple. He easily picked it up, though it was nearly twice his height, and moved it close to an elm. That really was better. He had a natural artistic eye, and Jenna did enjoy watching him work.

Deciding to stay out of the way, she lowered onto the grass, under shade of a small tree planted the day before. The sod was still damp around the trunk, so she was careful to stay on the outer edge. Aaron had fallen asleep before they had turned the first corner and she was able to sit quietly and study the landscape, and the men working it. She loved trees. She loved the smell of grass and freshly turned dirt. She loved the light breeze playing with her hair and the warm sun penetrating her skin. She loved ... Alan called to one of his employees. His voice filled the air. She loved being there with Alan. She loved ... Alan. No. She didn’t. She couldn’t. She had been in love. It wasn’t the same. With Daniel, she hated every minute she was away from him. She had needed to be closer. She hadn’t had a second thought about giving herself to him. Well, maybe a second thought, but it didn’t last long, and it was only because of her age. He was everything. She didn’t feel that way about Alan. She enjoyed being with him and loved that he enjoyed being with her.

He turned and spotted her. Obviously in the middle of giving instructions, he turned back, pointing at the horizon, and walked away from his work. He headed toward her.

She also loved how he always stopped what he was doing to pay attention to her, even if only for a minute or two.
from Finishing Touches 2003

Today, the daffodils and tulips are blDaffodilsooming, most of my tulips are yellow, and the forsythia surrounding the yard are boasting their yellow blooms. I may go out and do more planting today. I plant something every spring. Every place I’ve lived (except the one I wasn’t allowed), I planted things that would keep blooming long after we left.

Make the world prettier in some way!

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Another shout out to my hometown area of Peoria, IL with wishes for a fast recovery from the flooding.

1 comment:

Celia Yeary said...

L--you really do have a poetic way of writing. I enjoyed the excerpt. I had to laugh a little about Jenna sitting on the grass. don't go barefoot or sit on the grass. Those insidious tiny fireants are out there...sometimes their mounds are visible...but most often, they are not.
I love all the different shades of green we enjoy right now. Each kind of tree or bush has a different green: live oaks, mesquite, laurels, red oaks, and several others. We've left a few clumps of cactus (prickly pear), and they are covered in big buds which will soon be large bright yellow flowers. I love those.
Thanks for the beautiful photos.