Thursday, June 18, 2009

Of Gardens and Gardening

I found this passage in the book, People With Dirty Hands, and it's been such a comfort:

"Could I see your garden?" I ask.

"Maybe in the spring," he says......I have two fifty-by-one-hundred-foot plots and my wife complains that they're not pretty at all. It's just in rows, everything, my flowers, my vegetables..."

"It sounds like my garden," I say. "It doesn't look like much of anything. And by August it's full of weeds."

"And that's okay," Rick says heatedly. "People don't seem to understand that amending the soil and all that--you don't have to do that stuff. If by July, it's too hot to sow successive crops and you don't care anymore--that's okay. A lot of years in August, I look forward to the first frost. So what? ..."

"Me, too," I say. "So what is it about gardening?"

"It's a meditation," Rick says. "I don't think, necessarily, when I'm gardening. I have an active mind and I'm always talking, talking and thinking. In the garden, I'm not. I'm a much more relaxed gardener than anyone I know. I grow it for my own edification, and that's all."

Love that. The whole thing is me to a T (as they say). Right now I'm passionately puttering in my garden, rearranging plants, planting seeds in containers on my little deck out there, snipping banana peels and apples and placing them in rings beneath the soil at the base of plants. And I'm putting down borders, some wooden ones, some plastic, and scratching the earth, pulling weeds and watering, staking, and even walking the rows, checking things in the rain. It feels like playing on a playground and being ten all over.

But come August? Eh. The passion will be gone. It leaves then and I've always felt guilty about that, not to mention I often feel a bit uncomfortable that my gardens seldom resemble everyone else's. Mine look, well, different, usually like a huge viney catastrophe.

But no more will I feel that way. My garden is my garden and it can look and be anything I want it to be. I can learn from it, meditate within it and stare at it while it grows and then walk away when I tire of it -- and start all over again next Spring. Because it is mine.

And that, my friends, is one huge load off of my own tired ol' gardener's shoulders.


And for me, this 'philosophy' carries over into other areas of Life as well. You may want to think about it awhile.



Pat said...

So well put, and I can relate to the passion growing smaller come August.
Right now it is my true delight to care for the flowers and check on the vegtables, come the end of the season, I will have had enough and will look forward to Fall. Why do simple, joyful tasks sometimes become an obsession and competition? This post reminds me that it's alright to enjoy it for a season, as all things in life.

Terry said...

hi debra
miss patty is sending her readers here and i am glad that i took her advise.
i like that man and his garden.
he doesn't mention it or anything but i just bet that he gives some or those veggies that he grows away!
and i just bet that miss patty's bunnies sure would enjoy a good feed over at his garden... for sure and a regular all you can eat smorgasbord!

i like your little white house and the blossomed tree......

i am putting my mug shot on your followers debra
this way i will visit you more often,
i used to come on the rare occasion a few years back when david fisher would send us over.
god bless you debra! terry

Pearl said...

I like this story its a lot like me and the way I garden. I can spend hours in the garden in the summer just resting with a book, seeing a weed or two? and pulling them, dead heading, staring at the flowers and go back to reading. I love it.