Summer homes are filled with the familiar faces of islanders who, often following work opportunities, have moved their primary residence to the mainland. Many are here with their families, an annual ritual organized around the various children’s camps offered, while others are here for family festivities that are planned around the fishermen’s schedules. Dozens more come just because they still, and always will, consider the island their home, where their youth was spent and their heart still is.
Our days are filled beyond capacity. Some days I swear I meet myself coming and going at the door. The garden soil on our kitchen floor has mixed with beach sand as the first two weeks of July are children’s swim lessons. Before, after, and during swim, we are keeping busy in the garden.
Our corn is about three feet tall and has started producing small ears. We’re hopeful the fluctuating weather isn’t fooling it– already our spinach bolted as well as many onions.
Margaret Maeve and I made the scarecrow. Fingers crossed he’ll be effective as there are plenty of birds about, many who feasted on our cauliflower and broccoli and devastated our entire crop in less than two days. We’ve resown them and have put netting over the remaining brassicas.
It has been weeks now since the students came over and planted their pumpkins out. We’ll see them again just before Halloween for the harvest. Our potatoes are doing fabulously and are flowering more and more everyday. Peas are doing okay; enough for meals, but not enough for the freezer yet. Beans are just beginning to appear, a great relief as they were quite battered by the cold winds of early June.
We ate our first cucumbers and tomatoes yesterday. I ate the tomatoes just myself, consuming the first one immediately upon picking it and putting the second one on a salad. No one else was home and I couldn’t resist.
Of course summer is not all go, go, go. I love the spontaneous moments of nothingtodoness. ‘During summer, laziness meets respectability’ –the complete opposite of idling. Not leaving the beach after swim lessons because the air is warm and we are all feeling a bit like living in the moment is accepted. Staying on an outside deck for one more pint is completely understood. We’re busy relaxing so who cares if the lawn needs mowing or there’s laundry to hang out? We may not have it all here on Inis Mor, but we make the best of what we have. After all, any day spent wearing flip-flops more than welly boots is an extra-especially great one.
Happy Friday! And may your weekend have a few surprise moments of nothingtodoness too.