Saturday, May 05, 2012

earthy thoughts

It is quite true that for the entire month of May, I am tempted to do nothing more here than recount the horrors of weeding.

Are they horrors though?

Ed tells me today that I should pay him what I would pay into a health club. What is it, he speculates -- $30 a month? His point is that he, by providing me with opportunities to throw myself at improving his land, has added years to my life. My retort is that my preparing for him fresh vegetables and grains daily, nay, several times each day, I add years to his life.
I was eating pounds of fresh tomatoes way before you started cooking for me.
That’s right, always remember those tomatoes. And the other days?

This is our conversation. On these essential points, it does not vary much.

Though sometimes, the back and forth comes at odd times. On good nights, we both have periods of wakefulness at the same (ungodly) hour. (On less synchronized nights, one sleeps while the other reads a computer perched on his belly; on worst possible nights, there's that, interspersed with cat comings and goings.) It is a good night. We are both fully awake at 2:35 a.m.and so we talk economics and politics and, in concluding that nothing is predictable nor, therefore, easy to manipulate, we eventually fall asleep.

I mention this because it is such a luxury to not worry about being tired the next day. 

Saturday. My daughter and I go to the downtown market. The big market. First time for me this year. What stands out? Let me limit it to two things: running into familiar faces – of vendors and friends...


...and, too, let’s not forget, it’s a spring market still. Before the fruits and veggies take charge, you have, in spring time, endlessly beautiful flowers.


Which brings me right back to the farmette. A day of planting. With a final run to the Flower Factory, to pick up coveted additional perennials.

Ed sits at the side and watches me fill the cart. He scratches his head, studies the tags, scratches his head again...


What, more? Are you sure?
I’m sure. I grin broadly. Buying plants, for me, is as satisfying as buying jewelry might be for another.
I add a few more.
In the scheme of things, it's not a large amount, but to Ed, paying for a flower always feels extravagant. For me, even in the toughest times, flowers have been on the table.


I continue searching, contemplating, imagining. Ed gets fidgety. He walks over to the sandbox. It's a good distraction for little ones and big Ed.


Finally, I’m done.

It’s early still. Three more hours of daylight left, three more hours of digging, moving, planting, until there is no more daylight left.

Late, very late, after reheated soup, after all’s put away, we watch a movie about an English neurosurgeon who does work, often on hopeless cases, in the Ukraine. A tough movie, not fitting perhaps for the most beautiful day of gardening, but, you can never get too soft, too complacent, too close to the feeling that you’re in some way deserving.  And so we watch.

And the day rolls into night and I’m thinking it’s time to start plugging elements of paper work into these slow moving days of working the earth. I need to finish off the tasks of the semesters. It's not summer yet. Can't be fooled. Not for more than a few days at a time.