October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Not every garden is a fall garden, planted just in time for the cool fronts and rain. Most are spring and summer, needing constant care and attention, just the right cover at the right time. Most of my gardens are over exposed.
This garden got lucky. Right place, right time. I have done almost nothing. It has required so little energy and just look at it.
It is glorious! It is the product of all those years, I guess. All that fretting from the harder seasons when there wasn’t much left to eat.
Here’s (some of) what I learn from the garden:
The best work is done passionately and quickly. Grabbing hold of the moments I most want to do the work and making the time, forcing the time wide open so that it happens right there, right in the heat of my desire.
All the worry, trial and error, and late night reading over the years is cumulative. Every season is better and easier because of the work I put in the season before, or the one before that, or the one before that.
There is room for rest.This bed saw nothing but cats and bird seed for a full year while I was busy tending other things. It’s resilience, again, fruit of the labor of seasons past.
Most of the work is just observation. Just like children, the cells multiply all on their own, according to their unique design and purpose. A gardener just makes room, minimizes pests, and does her best to enrich and protect the magic. We don’t create, we just make space.
Why my garden makes me want to write:
The only words that ever get written are the ones that have been given space. Plant all the ideas in a wide open bed and something will come up. Something will sprout. Identify the sprouts, figure out what they need, and give it to them as best you can. Most will wither in the sun or be eaten by something in the night, but a few might make it. Mostly the ones you didn’t worry so much about.
You will delight in them because they seem to grow all on their own, almost for your pleasure. They aren’t work, they are well placed accidents. And then you will take a picture and post it on the Internet because you are so proud, and every one will be so impressed with you. On the inside, you will be unsteady and embarrassed, ashamed because you didn’t really do this. You were just a witness. It just grew in the space you made.
And then one day you will eat it.
You will cut the stalk and wash off the dirt, toss it into a hot pan with bacon and it will fill your belly.