My latest psychological breakthrough should have been obvious. It occurred to me this afternoon when I was elbow-deep in blackberry brambles that I'm doing this for no one but myself. I shouldn't expect anyone to notice the work I put into making the yard look better, because no matter how much I do it still looks wild.
Not just wild, but overgrown to the point of neglect. If you drop by, you'll notice the weeds before anything else. It'll look as if no one cared about it.
To a degree, that's true. I've learned not to care what anyone thinks about how it looks. I don't want it to be a showcase. I have no interest in manicured lawns or artfully designed landscaping. I don't even care about splashes of color, because the green of the grasses and trees is so soothing.
What I really want is a place where I can find some peace, where a few healthy plants grow, and where birds feel comfortable. I want them to keep coming back. I can't have pets here, so the birds are my companions. I sit out on the back porch and chirp back at the baby phoebes, and chatter with the jays. (Really.)
Every so often I get checked out by a hummingbird, while I'm sitting outside peacefully reading my book. I don't know if they're nearsighted birds, or just confused, but sometimes they'll come up and look me in the face. They don't try to suck any pollen out of me, so it's not as freaky as it could be. And they give the same treatment to the wooden wind chimes, before they move on to the feeder.
It's not as if I get many (human) visitors anyway. Every so often someone from the family will drop by, and I'd like the place to look nice for them. And maybe some day I'll take the next step, and try to turn the yard into a showplace. I just don't see that happening, and I can't look that far ahead. There's too much to keep me busy in the meantime.