Monday, June 21, 2010

Blue Boots

Almost three weeks since I last wrote.  What's up with that?  I am finding it incredibly difficult to fulfill my vision of gardening and writing everyday.  Perhaps it's because it is 95 degrees out there.  When I wait until it cools off a bit in the evening, I get eaten alive by the pests that are waiting to devour my exposed ankles!

Mostly I am tired.  I'll admit it - uninspired.  Our property takes so much effort just to maintain that I get worn out doing the mundane - like mowing (we now have three broken mowers, two of which are in the shop.)  I was out there enthusiastically giving our unruly yard a haircut when I hit a rock and stopped the whole deal - bent the frame on the mower and did some kind of damage to the engine.  And that was our really good mower that we brought over from the studio.  The bamboo that David and I have worked so hard to clear is back, but at least it covers up the piles of bamboo roots that I still hadn't gotten rid of.  Still it's disheartening and makes me come down with a bad case of "why bother".  I'll just let the bamboo win for awhile.

What we need is a back yard make-over like you see on HGTV where they come in with heavy machinery, scoop the whole thing out and bring us a few tons of fresh dirt.  The problem is that they always preface those shows with a woman's cheery voice saying "The Gages had a budget of $30,000 to work with for their backyard makeover."  Hmmm..."The Gages have a good friend, some blue rubber boots from Target and a nice new edger to transform their backyard" - thus the "why bother" attitude.

I bother because I am thrilled when I pop a cherry tomato in my mouth from one of our plants; I'm tickled to run out to the garden and pinch off a bit of basil for our pasta sauce; I'm proud that the plants I put in a month ago seem to be thriving and taking to their new home; I love to see butterflies swarming around my perennials.  

I'm trying to learn to appreciate the small victories and the simpler pleasures - both in the garden and in my life.  When I feel overrun by the big bad bamboo, I turn my eyes to a quieter corner, untouched by its relentless aggression.  With a little effort I can almost forget that it's there.   

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Migraines and Turtles

Five weeks since my last post. Five weeks of nurturing my family instead of my garden. I left for Florida a few days after I wrote last and began the process of helping my parents move across the state to live with my older sister and her husband. I have spent 3 of the last five weeks there and in between I have tried to keep up with our world here in Austin.

I did manage to plant a rock rose, dwarf pomegranate, African iris, wheelbarrow full of herbs, four o'clocks, beets, batchelor buttons, and some pansies for color in the last few weeks. Chris kept them watered and alive while I organized and packed and moved my folks and their life's possessions. Thank God for sisters - we grew up being a team when it was time for chores around the house, and the training paid off in spades this month!

Not all the digging and pulling at the roots of our family was painless. Along the way I had a serious falling out with someone I have been close to my entire lifetime. I am left with a huge hole where a relationship used to be. Today I was incapcitated by a migraine as I played the drama over and over in my head. I finally got up and went to the garden. I stood and watered - that's about all I had the energy for. But as I watered the new plants that are fighting to stake their ground in our garden, I watered the little seed of possibility in my self. The possibility that this relationship has been dysfunctional for a long time and needed to be planted in a new place in my heart. Or maybe it needed to be pulled out and put in a dark corner for awhile, to be rooted again when the time is right. Or maybe it will never be in my heart's landscape again and I will someday plant something else there that will bear fruit and flowers and attract the hum of life.

A few days ago after my prayer and meditation time, I chose a “Medicine Card” to glean some wisdom or guidance about how to make my peace with this very disturbing event in my life. The “medicine” here refers to “anything that improves one’s connection to the Great Mystery and to all life.” It is based on Native American spirituality and I have always found the appropriateness of the “animal medicine” cards I choose uncanny and helpful.

My choice on this day was “Turtle”. “Like Turtle, you also have shields that protect you from hurt, envy, jealousy, and the unconsciousness of others….If you have chosen the Turtle symbol, you are being asked to honor the creative source within you, to be grounded to the Earth, and to observe your situation with motherly compassion. Use the water and earth energies, which represent Turtle’s two homes, to flow harmoniously with your situation and to place your feet firmly on the ground in a power stance.”

So I guess standing shell shocked with the hose in the garden was the right thing to do. It was certainly the only thing I could do today. Thank you Mother Earth. It worked better than the migraine medicine.