summer tendingMy husband and I are in the habit of taking long walks together during the summer. We usually go before dinner—or just after—to enjoy the cooler evening air. Thanks to the weather (and the constant nagging of a FitBit) we’ve walked for nearly an hour each night this month.

Since our street is just a small cul-de-sac, we cross over to a nearby neighborhood, where we can admire our neighbors’ yards while we catch up on the day. For the past few weeks we’ve watched as one of those yards was transformed. While we did laps past his house, we observed this neighbor’s hand-seeding and -watering technique as he started a new lawn in a dirt pile. His attention was meticulous and consistent: he watered during most of our walking time.

Last night we watched as he mowed his new grass for the first time. It was velvety green and lush, a testament to the hours he had invested. My husband commented (not for the first time) that our own lawn could stand a bit more attention. I admitted, “I’m glad you’re walking with me instead of watering the lawn.”

We all have so many things to “tend” in our lives. Many a houseplant has fallen victim to my busy schedule while I’m tending to something (or someone) else. But in the hurry of everyday life I’m sure I’ve neglected friends and relationships as often as the ficus.

Summer feels like a time to take a closer look at what we’re tending, and prioritize again. Some nights will have to be for mowing or weeding or watering; that’s just summer. But other nights, thankfully, are about chatting, strolling, and enjoying the evening air.

At the end of the summer, we may not have the greenest velvety lawn in the neighborhood. I don’t think I’ll mind.

What are you tending this summer?