Shovel it.

My chuckles at the “gardening is cheaper than therapy” shirts. My body’s whisperings (and sometimes its loud insistence) that running isn’t on the list of options most days these days. My back’s reminder that I sit a lot during the day.

If the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then perhaps I won’t admit it as a problem. A discovery, let’s call it.

I need to dig.

My mother-in-law wants to seriously expand her garden this year. My father-in-law confessed he wasn’t looking forward to the load of compost in the driveway. I confessed that if he didn’t call me over when it arrived, I’d be finding something else to shovel anyway.

Like a few weeks ago when I decided my pathways were too wide and my center bed too small.

A bit of therapy here. A bit of exercise there. A bit of soul-filling-earth-bliss in the side and I have more room, easier access, and found some sweet potatoes to add to breakfast scrambles in the process.

The right bed already has three rows of corn sown in the center. It’ll get melons on a trellis on one edge, I think. Maybe on both sides… The left bed is going to try a stagger of peppers and tomatoes… I’ve had promises of sturdy, homemade cages this year. He knows the way to my heart.

Advertisements

Hours ending.

The softness of the soil entrapped in a milkweed’s grasp. The moments between dog barks, airplanes, and old cars driven by young people insistently down the road. The expansion from seed tray to 4″ pots. The addition of seed trays. The tender trust in Echinacea stems.

There’s so much nutrition in the garden before anything ever touches our tongues.

“Hey honey… is there anything sown in the back left bed because…” Sprint outside.

And again, with love and hope.

I sit with my face to the embers. The glow of the tree lights intruding from the right. My face: an ember, reflecting the heat of the ashes and the light of a past holiday.

I crouch beside the stone and carbon. My skin: hot and tight, pulling me into this moment. This marked occasion. This passing of instants in a torrent of glimpses and gleams.

The final fire of the year, but not the season. With hopes this was the final visit of a lengthy season, for it certainly is the last of the year.

We are home. Again. On the Eve of a holiday. Again. We are so grateful. Again.

The village around our little family is diverse in its connection, makeup, and geography, but our being home is truly thanks to each individual within.

The second trip to the hospital this week was harder. The first trip I was calm; I was grounded; I was ready.

This trip, I was not… at first. I found my feet before, I hope, she noticed they’d been knocked out. She, true to form, was nothing short of inspiring.

Here’s to a new year, for each and all of us and every other’s A year full of love, inspiration, health, knowledge, persistence, care, and untethered support.

Tis the season…

Tis the season for growing compost piles, for weeding unwanted seeds from the stockpile, for starting a wishlist for next year and reflecting on the season’s passing.

I think it may be the last year for the raised beds. And I think I’ll help them go. They harbor ants nests I can’t beat back or cajole away. They permit sweet potatoes to bunker under the walls, lessening the harvest and sowing the next generation of ground cover in the same allowance.

But to do so would require remapping the irrigation installed by our predecessors. And that is not in the time budget between now and the early sowings of spring when we’ll try for more peas and beans and carrots and things.

So perhaps another year, I’ll eke out of these tiring lengths, and perhaps next winter we’ll be moving, or the kids will be old enough to require less of my ship’s side to barnacle upon which will both ease and sadden my heart, and also increase the time budget a smidge, methinks. We shall see.

So the beds will rest, the compost will grow, and the caterpillars will continue to feast like royalty upon my cauliflower dreams.