To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal ...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance ...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
* * *
I live here in Lousisiana, where we are blessed with two growing seasons. In the early spring, we are sometimes lucky enough to guesstimate when spring is eager to tread the waters of our soggy winters, and yes, there are are some of us, who, upon that occasion, manage to jump into the troughs of fingering seedling spread, and we boast our fruit proudly by June & July.
This is not a thing that is taught in books, nor is it promised in the seedling catalogues. It is instinct born of watching the skies, and the trees--at what time will the leaves turn bruised in fall and heal that bright green promise early come steamy spring.
This is the thing that can only be known by the turn of the shovel in February -- and a nod and a judge decides whether the turning continues on--deciding if this root should be reckoned low, and if that bed should be raked to richness and hothouse plasticene protected in the interim.
Gardens are are an urging of instinct, and with every shovelful is the grim acknowledgement that the instinct, so sure of foot, can be wrong.
I move things when I garden, yanno.
I really don't have a plan.
Of course, I understand companion plantings, and consider the sun as well as the turf. I'm not afraid to dig, as I am also not afraid to stomp a scrubbly - praying for their survival even as I toughen the trip for them--I want big, beautiful blooms, and I understand now, that sometimes, a break heals fastest and most cohesive, sprouting newness, but a vehement stomp can do irreparable damage.
I understand now, too, that some breaks don't heal.
I understand that we can lose things on the way.
* * *
I cut my flowers to place in vases, in my dark spots where they will be most appreciated.
Like my beloved Hawaian ginger?
If you cut those braids and place them near your stove, or some place warm, and her perfume grants erotica to the nose in tantalize...you've got Eden.
Lilies are more delicate--but bold and strong in the stem they make a delightful spright of color where no one ever thought a glimmer of a spark would be. Long stemmed lava lights in muse, they remind me of my father--he would make them last for days, peeling back the deadened leaves, changing waters for their fresh--keeping brights vibrant with spoonfuls of sugar surreptiously dumped into vases that housed them. and aspirin (he said "shhhhhhhhhh")-- keeping secrets.
I loved the gardens of my father--I hid behind massive "elephant ears". I sucked the sweet of honeysuckle plumes, braving the bees for the feast, and tiny wild strawberries were my dessert, growing wild, like goundcover, by the shed. Wild onion grew rampant there as well---my meticulous father mowed around the patch of wildflowers--heady scented bending and black-eyed susans made wreaths for my head.
But I remember a time of wondering "why"? I would watch him shoveling the earth and chop--the roots of his four o clocks--the vinca spread out by roots, mixed with compost and newspaper, and he would smile to himself, digging the bulbs of the daffodils--stashing them like onion in the shed he had built to just short of code--tided in stockings from the rafters, in panty hose of his daughters, retrieved from the trash.
It was the wintering of his garden, and my friends, I think I'll take a cue from him.
I do believe the time has come to lock my garden gate.
My hope remains, that others will plant a garden too. I'd love to be able to find a chair welcome for me, and that our tradition of stories might continue, and on the nights, as lonely as these, I'll find a place to chat with my friends again.
So I guess what I'm asking here, is that for those who enjoyed the adventures/misadventures of myself/others, perhaps we could begin a community garden.
The only constant I would like to see persevere is that it remain a community garden--a place of non-judgement.
This thread has meant so much to me, and the courage and constancy of those who joined in (and especially those who shyly e mailed me) have melded into my marrow bones to make me a stronger person, and your love, guidance, and consistant caring have been an enduring light to me--a tempering- and I love you all, each and every, and I can only pray that these words I type convey the depth of my gratitude as you walked through my life with my words with me, cheering me on, or frowning me down, in the way that only my lovers are able.
I called ya'll my lovers.
Kari? You "got it" from the beginning.
May I ask you if you begin a new thread of a community garden?
I'd also like to thank all who joined in the fun, and wiped the tears from my fingers as I typed.
You are all beautiful.
And if you don't mind, I'll close with this poem, published by Ron Carnell graciously in Reflection on the Web:
The Garden Gate
I had to lift the gate to enter--
it dragged ragged on the ground
held by half a screw on hinge--
the rot of wood made not a sound
as I held the door aloft
amazed there was no hindrance there.
I turned and placed it with much thought
imagining a coat of care.
I saw a winding path ahead
overgrown with four-o-clocks
the bricks were moldy in thier bed
parslane held hands--interlocked
Egyptian sage grew wild in bloom
Hawaiian ginger boasted soon
rule of garden in perfume...
behold the braid of bud's cocoon.
Butterflies in kiss of me--
dance to bass of bumblebee.
I spied a sundial in the weeds
the ancient brought me to my knees
pulling grass by the handful
wishing sun would shadow dial...
I pulled the last grasp of the grass
and then the sun burst through in smile.
He played upon a wing of time
casting shadow in the rust
silent darkness rang the chime--
and I, the ash, returned to dust.
* * * * *
Now Kari? If you would, place the lock on my garden gate?
This thread is respectfully requested closed.