Saturday

Cant See The Garden for The Weeds

School, computer failures, and other circumstances have kept me busy and delayed postings --and a great many other chores. Just as well, it's been a weird couple of weeks, and by my not posting you were all spared the strange tale of how I was verbally attacked for cleaning my living room; as well as the grim and depressing details of the demise of my relationships with my best friend, my therapist, and my chickens. Then, of course, there was my son's near death experience after he flushed homegrown broccoli (broccoli that I had tenderly nurtured and into which I had tirelessly pored my blood sweat and tears) down the toilet and then claimed that he had eaten. grrrr. nuff said

A dear friend was visiting last weekend and asked to see my infamous garden, I knew that I had been neglecting it the past few weeks, but even I wasn't prepared for the weed insurgency going on in my back yard. Oh, the humanity --or perhaps I should say 'Oh the vegetation'! The grass surrounding the garden is nearly as tall as The Boy, and members of the weed Axis of Evil have infiltrated every bed! It is just unbelievable. You would think I had been planting weeds, and that a few veggies had crop up among them, rather than the other way around.

It was so embarrassing, not just because I have been crowing about my garden in this blogg, and in every other setting where folks couldn't shut me up, but also because I have enormous respect for this friend, who is brilliant at just about everything, and there we were, standing among the ravages of weeds and slugs, in this jungle that had once been my garden . . . jeeeeeze, my head is hung low.

19th century plant breeder Luther Burbank, held the philosophy that when humans domesticated wild plants into vegetable crops, we entered into an enduring covenant with them in which we agreed to shelter and sustain them, and to eliminate predators and competing plants. Having bred them to be comparatively delicate and dependent, as well as succulent and delicious, we took on responsibility to nurture and protect them from invading weeds. So I am feeling like I broke some sacred pact. They'll take my gardening licence, sure, I'm after thinkin

Luckily, a few weeks neglect, however regrettable, is not fatal. I have been working my way through the beds, slowly turning areas so thick with vegetation that I can not see the soil back to weed-free garden space. Work in the garden is something of a double-edged sword for me. On the one hands it is a walking meditation, like chopping wood and carrying water, it is therapeutic and lends itself to the kind of mindfulness I strive for. But in the mindfulness, and the rhythmic and cyclical work of the garden, are memories and emotions every bit as thick as these weeds. The memories are so sharp and clear, yet the life to which they are attached to feels so far removed from me, it is as if that life belongs to someone else, some other pair of gardeners. The hope is that, as I weed out the unwanted, I will create space for new growth.

2 comments:

wisteria said...

Aren't gardens wonderful places to leave behind all the heaviness of discarded relationships to be transformed into something beautiful!

zilla said...

good to see you back, waxing philosophical and all!