More than understood, Sharon.
And guess what? We have a date.
But ain't my little garden purty?
I was thinking about that this weekend--how I'd spent alot of time, sitting cross-legged in front of those little gardens, lost in thought, or found in "no-thought"--just pulling the weeds and unearthing rock.
This brings to mind another story--smile--of course.
I did a lot of watching in those days. Both out of necessity and fascination. There was this gentleman I used to watch a lot--he appeared to be elderly and destitute--I would sit on the steps with my coffee and watch him scour the parking lot after a big night at the "O.K. Corrall", picking up beer cans and kicking at tufts of grass that teased with dew sparkles in the morning sun--
all that glitters is not gold.
but his grocery cart was always full of found treasure.
I'd say hello and he'd say hello back. That was the extent of our relationship. He wore old fashioned dockers, the kind of pants that were made for labor before they became the uniform of the viper room denizens. His skin had the elasticity of a prune, and white wool formed a crown around his head. He would nod and smile, and in the right light, his gold tooth would glint at me, before he'd continue on his way, bobbin' head style, somtimes talking to himself and sometimes singing.
Once I had slept in my sister's bed and woke to hear the gravelly sound of "Amazing Grace" outside my window, and I believed it until the barking dogs chased him away.
-- But back to the story, eh?
I don't have a specific date to mark the day, but I do have a general idea. It was still winter of 1989, but as happens in Lousisana quite often we had a preview of Spring, and I woke feeling the unexpected warmth, and opened the windows between sips of coffee.
Spring...and my gardens were bare. So I thought I'd spend the morning hours planting some impatiens bulbs inbetween my gladiolas.
I drank my morning inspirational and set out to work.
This wasn't the sort of gardening one watches people on television accomplish in half an hour. Even if I had a shovel, it wouldn't have done much good. There was only one way to beat that soil and that was rock-by-rock.
So I sat cross-legged and inched my way down, not worried about efficiency, but just taking pleasure in the way the released soil crumbled in my fingers.
I didn't notice the clouds forming, and the light dimmed so slow I took no mind, quite surprised to feel the drizzle misting on me as I sat there, running my fingers through the dirt, using them as a rake. I started to feel chilled but continued, sometimes frowning at the darker, more insistant clouds.
I heard the squeak and pull of his cart before I saw him round the corner--he struggled mightily with that thing in the deeper trenches of the parking lot--and as I did, the sun tried to peek, but the clouds filtered--I saw the world through rose sepia. I remember smiling as I thought: Now this is what it's all about. I could smell the dirt, all fertile--ripe--and the moisture was a gentle misting, and I thought to myself, "This is breeding ground."
He startled me with his "Hello."
He stood there, with his grocery cart, squinting at me through the links of the fence, but smiling with that one gold tooth while I felt a bit annoyed to be interrupted when I only had a few more bulbs to plant.
"Y'plantin' a garden, missus?" he asked.
One eye looked blue from cataract, which I'd never noticed before. I'd never seen him that close up.
I nodded, biting my tongue, and I started to answer the obvious, but he interrupted, nodding his approval:
"The lawd loves a gawden y'know. He planted one hisself for us to live in--but mercy, " he laughed heartily, "folks know how to mess stuff up, don't they?"
I said nothing, just staring at him in wonder. That eerie pink was bolder now, and the combination of the rain and the sun simultaneous left me with goosebumps on my bare arms.
"M'mamma used to do her plantin' 'bout now, too. She'd plant t'maters so early she lost a few now and then, bit by dat early spring frost we tend ta git. But I know you know 'bout that." He smiled.
"Oh yeah, we'd have pole beans and peppers, summer squash and mirlaton on the fence."
"You gonna grow mirlaton this fence?" He managed to blush through the black of his cheeks, knowing his optimism showed.
Then his body language sagged, signaling goodbye.
"But yes ma'am. Da Lawd's gonna bless ya, miss. Cause y'doin' right and da Lawd loves a garden. You'll be pickin' fruit."
He was nodding as he turned.
I stared at the back of him as he wrestled the cart through the gravel, returning to the street.
"Remember what I said..." he'd turned to wave, and his gold tooth glinted in another ray of sun.
I stopped what I was doing then and with my muddy fingers, I traced circles on my tummy.
I was tingling.
What I knew, and had been denying for weeks had just been confirmed by a street corner prophet:
I was pregnant and life was good.
Everything was gonna be alright.
[This message has been edited by serenity blaze (12-21-2003 09:24 PM).]