|Bossy's Beautiful Garden (too dark to take a pic of mine)|
I’ve spent most of my energy and a good portion of my time the past two days trying to get the garden under control. There are a lot or reasons I garden (I was raised doing it. Nothing tastes as good as a fresh vine-ripened tomato and corn that was cooked within an hour of being picked. The prophet said to plant a garden...), but sometimes it’s just plain hot, dirty, and hard.
About ten years ago I loved my time in the garden. It seemed to give me time to meditate, figure things out, calm down, etc. For years I would tell people that I thought everyone should garden because it was a substitute for therapy, counseling, and antidepressants. I truly believed it was one of the most important aspects of my life. When I was consulting a lot I would sometimes wonder if it made sense. I could buy what we would produce by working a few short hours. But it wouldn’t be as fresh. And the therapy bills, what about them?
But for the last few years it just hasn't seemed the same. Its been hard to get anyone to help weed. But the real depressing thing is for some reason my job always seems to require overtime in September, right at the peak of harvest. So this year when I was working so much overtime in the spring, I decided I would finally do it, the ultimate rebellion. Something I hadn’t done in 29 years of marriage. I wasn’t going to plant a garden.
I shelled out $400 for a share of a local farmer's output being offered at work. Then just for good measure I arranged to have Bossy grow some stuff for me. I was set. No garden to consume my time...
But I just couldn’t do it. I eventually planted a modified garden. Mostly corn and tomatoes and a few cucumbers, peppers, cantaloupe, zucchini,and of course some basil for the tomatoes... And my reward? Just tons of back-breaking work. After a good 12 hours+ this weekend I realized that the therapy didn’t seem to be working. I didn’t feel better. I hadn’t had any inspiration. I didn't feel calmer. What was I thinking? And why did Eve have to partake of the apple and cause weeds to spurt forth?
It just wasn’t worth it. About 15 minutes after my little mental pity party/melt down, I turned and looked toward the house and had the strongest sort of deja vu and flashback. I saw the yard as it had been the day I planted the cherry tree. I saw the peach tree, long gone to a bark bore. (I stink at fruit trees.) I saw the beautiful 3-foot high peas that Teach was mad about picking one day when she was about 10 and pulled them all up as she picked. I saw the corn patch flattened by a runaway go kart.
And I was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude... For the privilege of living here, for my kids, for my life, and most importantly for my wife. I realized what a blessing our marriage has been. How we have been blessed to be together. No packages from previous marriages. No years of bickering. No one spouse not pulling their weight.
I could go on and on. It was the most amazing thing! it was like my brain just dumped all my blessings to my mind in just a few seconds. It was so strong I immediately started walking to the house to tell my dear sweet wife how much I loved her.
When I got in the house she was helping with a sewing problem, and then had to help another child... and I needed to do something with dinner (sweet pork to make the returning campers happy) and I never got to it. So when she casually mentioned she was a bit busy and the post might not be up to snuff, I volunteered for a guest post. It may be the only way I get to tell her how much I love her.
They're back to homework, and I can’t get a word in edgewise. Weird how the gardening isn’t doing its job.. and I’m mad at Mother Eve for all those weeds. I’m sure that 20-second blessing dump didn’t have anything to do with gardening...or did it?