Monday, May 13, 2013

my Mother's Day gift

Bright and early, a young man showed up to till up a part of my lawn.  He unloaded his tiller, from an old Jeep truck and set to work, and  in awhile he was done, I paid him twenty dollars as he loaded his tiller back onto his truck,  I thanked him and he said "See you next year!" 
I walked out to the edge of the freshly turned earth,  I was very excited, I couldn't wait to have a real garden, to have  my fill of fresh produce.  somewhere in the depths of my soul, I knew I was finally home.

That was 30 years ago, and the garden is 3 times as large as it was then,  spaded  up twice a year and I now own  tillers.  I have put up countless jars of produce and spent numerous fall evening covering  tomato and pepper plants hoping to get just a few more vegetables to ripen.  Some years there were more tomatoes than I had jars for and some years, I had to buy tomatoes for the table.  Green beans so plentiful that people would see me and say "Run, she might have green beans!"  Even a year when there were not enough zucchini. and too many gourds.   Over time favorite varieties have disappeared and I have just given up on growing things like basil and okra, the deer and rabbits have grown scare, but still a few find their way into my garden each year.  One thing is certain that no year ever turned out like I planned it too.


The seasons turned before me, each day there was something new, subtle changes.  Each day a new canvas, a new birdsong, new thoughts wandered in and out of my mind.  The peaceful turning of the earth and the drifting clouds were a gentle silence that  surrounded my imagination and my worries, and opened the secrets of my heart and my world to me.

People also wandered in and out of my garden, a rich library of stories, wit and wisdom got swapped over my garden fence.  Leaning on my shovel, and listening. 

The ground itself yielded tiny treasure, beads, coins, marbles, broken crockery, all manner of everyday things.   My son had an area where he played with his plastic dinosaurs and hot wheels.

Then of course there were the giant Halloween pumpkins and the cool crisp cucumbers, tomatoes sweet and ripe and still warm from the sun. freshly dug potatoes,  and strawberries.   Weeds, squash vine borers, storm winds that broke or knocked down plants, late frost and early frosts, all of which made me glad I wasn't dependant on my garden for food for my body as much as food for my soul.

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