Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Grateful Gardener

This spring, I've discovered a new hobby: gardening. Now I haven't gone & picked out a pair of lime green Crocs & a giant sun hat yet, but I do very much enjoy slipping on my gardening gloves (which ARE lime green) & working up a sweat.

I'm just a beginner. This is the first time in my life I've ever had a share in the responsibilities of taking care of a yard & garden. My housemate & I weeded & planted herbs & veggies in the back (I have to admit, I was slightly disheartened to realize that weeds are actually quite sanguine), then she outfitted the perimeter with whimsey (lanterns, rocks, stakes & chimes) while I contributed the practicality of a patio table & chairs, a bird feeder (is a bird feeder really practical?) & a thermometer. We begged & borrowed (but did not steal) motorized implements from various sources & a merciful friend of ours even came over to help us attack the overgrown front yard. At the moment, we have some semblance of a respectable residence & I can't put into words my joy at seeing that manicured lawn sparkling in the Oregon sunshine. It brings me great pleasure to gaze out over our deck & garden... to appreciate all the life (that we will later kill & masticate) sprouting in the back yard... Finches & sparrows & juncos routinely feed in our rafters, along with the red winged blackbirds & starlings that happen by on occasion to clean up their mess... I'm sure they could find sustenance elsewhere, but they keep coming back to us. Its kind of a nice feeling.

Some days, life just "is" & its so easy to go through it without really feeling much of anything.  But when I slip on my lime green gloves & step out in to the dirt to manage life, plant life or invite life, everything else seems to take on a different meaning. I feel like a super hero out there, full of purpose & resolve (sans boots, tights & cape). Yes, I am a vessel of charity toward plants & animals... a scourge to weeds & other invasive critters! When I spend time out in the garden, life becomes less about me & more about that patch of dirt & the living thing stuck in it. It becomes less about how I feel toward the world & more about what I can do to affect it... even if my swatch is only miniscule in the grand scheme of things.  Its a start...


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