in which this post probably gets the better of me

Posted: 29 April 2011 in observations

Garden bed is successfully built – though not without some struggle.  The 4 x 4s couldn’t be found untreated (eventually found out of town), the friend with the plans wasn’t free (eventually bending time to be available), I was out of town (eventually coming home exhausted), the drill and saw weren’t strong enough (eventually convinced to function by brute strength), the rebar didn’t fit the hole (eventually tossed aside) and the daylight was fading (nothing we could do about that).  The dirt was delivered early and is more than we needed – much more.  It has been slowly sending rivulets of rich composted earth into our neighbor’s yard and our azaleas, neither of whom probably appreciate it.  The baby has an internal clock and despite our refusal to adhere to it, food is required and, after a time period long enough to  fidget but not long enough to accomplish anything, bedtime.

Even after the bed was built and stopped looking so awesome that I couldn’t bear to put the dirt into it, it mellowed until I had time for planting.  And here in Virginia, spring is ticking.  Seeds need to get into the ground, tomatoes need to get their legs.  It’s time.  Yet another week passed and we finally obtained plants and supplies.  ANOTHER week passed and we put them into the soil, once again tempting the tender boundaries of daylight and the baby’s patience.  But they’re in!  That bed is beautiful.

Marzano and Champion tomatoes, bells red and green and hot peppers, carrots, pole beans, cucumbers, shallots and zucchini.  If my gardening skills have matured sufficiently, we’re in for a bounty come July.  If they haven’t, well, I can manage a mean herb garden.  Speaking of herbs, we practically have an apothecary’s cabinet full.  It’s no doubt wrong to be this proud of anything that depends on sunshine and a rain barrel, but if you’ve got a headache, a rash, a cut or some intestinal distress we can handle it.

I say all that to say this, I think I’ve finally touched on my calling.  It wasn’t diplomacy, though I had a knack.  And it isn’t librarianship, though it’s excellent and enjoyable work.  It’s victory gardens and herbal medicine.  It’s feeding the family.   In some decades, it’s nourishing the land and the people on it, in others it’s cursing the neighbor’s cow.  My mother would tell you that she has always known this.  In fact, she often attributes her cautious distance from me to an other-worldness.  I don’t buy that, but sometimes I catch a glimmer of what she’s talking about.  Let’s face it, when’s the last time your colleague asked you if you were a witch?  And when’s the last time you needed to explain Wicca in order to distinguish it from yourself?  Bringing it back from the limits of what you’re willing to put up with, when’s the last time you looked at yourself and found you are entirely new?

Points for everyone.


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