I still have the joy in me, saved from childhood, of seeing the “antennae” of little slugs retract as my finger neared them. Sensing the heat, they’ve pull their tentacles in before my finger reached them. I also remember the thrill of seeing the minnows so close to the dock as I followed Don Tyrell to his boat.
When I was little, little things interest me: The buds of trees opening, flowering and slowly turning into fruit, ants walking in lines, pussy willows, maple seeds helicoptering to the ground in the Fall. Things like that were full of mystery.
Our minds get further and further from the ground as we grow, physically and metaphorically. Gardening, however, brings us back down, back to the land, back to things small.
I got up at 3:00 am this morning. I heard the wind in the night and I could see the stars in the sky and I wanted to get into this day of baking, gardening and visiting because it’s going to be sunny and warm for five days in a row and I got three yards of topsoil, five Rhododendrons (with beautiful dark leaves) and two more Azaleas delivered to Pinecone Park yesterday.
Before I get to gardening, however, I’m baking a lemon Bundt cake with lemon curd in the centre. (It’s a recipe Dianne sent me; I wanted to try it before she comes to visit so that I can serve her a practiced version.) Then, while I await the arrival of Lydia and David, I’ll busy myself doing something akin to going to church — working with plants and soil, putting a garden in front of my studio; it’s the view I see all day from my office — and building another one in the front where you’ll see it as you arrive.
I thought to only plant local plants but I want colour; I’m planting Rhodos close to the house and that tends to intimidate even hungry deer. I’ll add healthy batches of heather later. I really feel at home now; more than anything, the gardening is settling me. The shrubs and bushes are my home’s clothing.
Yesterday as I was typing at my desk, Ethel noticed an insect flying high in the window. She bolted to the sill and then stood up on her hind legs and walked along the sill on two legs, upright!
|Mulched, coiled paper sculpture.|