105 Ways to Give a Book

Overgrown Garden

What happens on Wednesdays stays on Wednesdays.

I call the little front patch my Darwinian garden, because I throw a bunch of things in there and see what survives. But that designation isn’t entirely accurate, because I do attempt to keep the weeds down so whatever I’ve tried to plant has a chance to grow.

This spring has been unusual, it seems, in the amount of rain and the continuing chilly weather — with the rain urging the weeds to grow and the cold keeping me from yanking them out. At the beginning of April they were a pretty addition to the garden, covering the dirt and tangling the dead leaves in a carpet of green with delicate white flowers. But now the weeds have taken over the little patch, thwarting any efforts to plant by making me Do Something About Them.

Yesterday as I spent a second hour in the dirt, I was thinking about how much these weeds are like so much else in my life. I saw the signs and could have done something earlier, but it wasn’t going to be pleasant. So I avoided it, and now the job is much harder. Now these things have roots, and I have to get in the dirt. I have more to carry out, and I’ve left new seeds behind that I’ll have to deal with later. The task seems overwhelming. Oh, and all this digging around makes me sick. (Allergies, you know.)

Sounds like everything else I’ve avoided. Clutter. Decisions. Relationships. Even the friggin’ economy fits the weed metaphor.

So maybe that’s why, when the weather gets warm, I don’t mind the hours in the garden. Because there, with some time, energy, and a willingness to work, I can see concrete results. All the digging makes the soil ready for something new to take hold. What I plant is up to me, and how those plants grow is always somewhat of an experiment. The pumpkins might peak too soon, or the cantaloupes may take over the mums. Last summer morning glories just showed up, curled around what appears to be a new flowering tree.

A tree that grew, I may note, because I simply left it alone wondering what it would turn out to be. Because the clause that makes the rule so much more complicated is that there are occasions where leaving something alone is the right choice. That’s life in the garden. That’s life.

How are you tending your garden?
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5 comments:

tanita davis said...

Oh, dear.
Today has been a day for Truth with capitol letters to keep smacking me upside the head.

I'm not really likin' it.

My garden is totally shot, and there are cats digging in it.

::sigh::
Much work to do. Thanks for the reminder...

(P.S. This is some beautiful essay writing, chica. Just sayin'...)

Carin S. said...

I love your garden. I wish I could do it but my HOA would string me up. Thanks also for reminding me that I need to do some weeding.

Jim Randolph said...

Off topic:

I know you watch Glee. I got my wife on it (because she's a big musical fan) and we've enjoyed it very much but after this week's episode, we might be done. They've always played with reality but this was was so far out there (NONE of their parents or those million orchestra kids parents came to the benefit?) that I think we may be finished. Jumped the shark and all that.

Thanks. Just had to vent to someone who knows what I'm talking about!

MotherReader said...

Tanita, thanks for the garden-sympathy connection and the kind words.

Carin, I can't take credit for about half of the work in the garden as the homeowners before us did such a nice job with perennials that I'm always surprised with what keeps showing up. For the rest of it, I do like to play around with whatever I have on hand.

Jim, GLEE! I know! I said the same thing about the concert and the complete lack of parents. And the choir couldn't sit in the audience until their part - that they didn't know they had because Mercedes wasn't sure she'd sing? Like you know already, I do have a real love/hate relationship with the show and their playing with reality. I'll probably finish out the season watching with the teen, and then I may be over it myself.

The Pen and Ink Blog said...

It's always a blessing to be able to do something and see concrete rewarding results. So many of the seeds we plant in life take such a long time to mature that we forget we ever planted them.