I've explained that when the summer temperatures exceed 100 degrees F, I take a little break. Even though the break was longer than usual this summer, I still waited until temperatures started falling to get back to working outside.
The temperatures now are in the 90's (feels so cool!), and I am back in the gardening groove.
I am rewarded by the plants blooming cheerfully, happy now that the heat wave is over. The colors in the garden are saturated, not washed out by the harsh sun. The plants that have survived this summer are stronger, and growing little leaves that tell me they will be here again next spring.
Fall chores become a joy. These chores allow me to look closely at each plant, expecting one final flush before tucking them in for the winter.
My mind is busy, thinking of plans for new areas. I have grand ideas, and have to scale them down to meet my ability and budget.
My body is happy to be working outside again. My hands ache from pulling weeds. My arms and legs have scratches from the rose bushes (I'm certain they are trying to hug me in appreciation). My face is slightly sunburned. My muscles are tired. I fall asleep fast, and sleep deeply.
Some may think aches don't sound joyful. But to this gardener, they are wonderful and welcome. It means I am creating the garden of my dreams.