Sunday, March 09, 2008
If thou art worn and hard beset
With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget,
If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will keep
Thy heart from fainting, and thy soul from sleep,
Go to the wood and hills! No tears
Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I spent the afternoon in the backyard yesterday, for the first serious garden work this year. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon, especially after being away so long. Before I put on my Xmas gardening apron and went outside, all I could see was the work that needed to be done after months of neglect. But once I was out there, I got into the flow of cleaning up dead brush from beds, fertilizing the flowers and bulbs, and simply feeling the sun on my face and the dirt under my fingernails. The new mums are coming up beneath the skeletons of last seasons blooms. There are bulbs pushing up in places where I can no longer remember what I planted.
I was so intent on cutting back old growth around the old blue wheelbarrow, that I lost my balance as I scrambled up some rocks, and I tumbled down the back stairs beneath the crooked arbor at the back of this pic. As I lay flat on my back, wiggling my fingers and toes to make sure I wasn’t dead, I looked up at the sky, and there I saw the sweet look that Nature wears, and I could feel the good feeling that makes me want to spend every summer day in the yard. It was even good last night to soak in a tub of Epsom salts and almond oil and feel exactly where I landed when I fell. Gardening shouldn’t be treacherous, but since I don’t get a thrill from riding roller coasters or climbing up faux rock walls in some gym, working out back is thrill enough for me.
Now that it’s March, I’m getting some deliveries. Yesterday the glory lily bulbs came. Soon, I expect to get the onion sets and seed potatoes. I’m going to wait to plant other veggies until things warm up for good, but there’s plenty to do meanwhile. This is a perfect day to work on cleaning out pots and planting bulbs – pretty low risk. That should keep my heart from fainting, and my soul from sleeping, while giving my sore muscles time to heal.